• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

!!!!!!!!!! the quest for super soil  RSS feed

 
garden master
Posts: 3422
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
276
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Angelika Maier wrote:That sounds really logic. The compost is also important because of all the organic matter -weeds and the stuff he brings home, unfortunately nothing what usual compost making manuals tell. Lawn clippings that's not us. Kitchen scraps - How many kitchen scraps in comparison to huge weeds do we produce most go to the chooks anyway! They are inside only at night so not much bedding here either. But our weed piles are impressive! And looking at them they don't seem to belong fully in the 'green' category.



hau kola, rule #1 of composting: use what you have and or can get for free.  Most books will give you "ideal" materials, what is important is to start piling things that rot into heaps, you can always add other materials as you acquire them, or not as the case may be.

Everything green (the term for materials containing nitrogen and is growing or was just cut) turns into browns (the term for carbon materials ) as it dries out.

I've made a compost heap using nothing but tree leaves, I had a huge raked up pile of fallen leaves and that spring I waited for leaf out to do the pruning and that gave me green material to add to that heap of "browns", it worked just fine for making compost.
It wasn't the best compost but it was compost and it did add nutrients and humus to the soil.

Anything can be used that way, don't let yourself get hung up on what makes the best compost, just make compost then use it and grow more things. Eventually you will be growing everything you need to make great compost from your garden leftover materials at the end of the season.

There is nothing wrong with starting out with nothing but browns, just remember to add some greens when they come around. This takes longer since you have to wait but that is composting.
Spent coffee grounds are a great way to add nitrogen to an all browns compost heap, just open the center, pour them in and add water to moisten the heap, those grounds will jump start the heating process.
Any fungi you find can also be added to a heap of browns, those will drop spores, grow into hyphae and decompose those browns, when you go to use that compost you will be adding the fungal hyphae to your garden space, good stuff that is.

Need more tips on how to make the best use of what you have?  you know how to reach me.

Redhawk
 
Posts: 2
Location: Fortuna, Ca 9B
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Redhawk,

I've been following permies for 3+ years; it has grown and grown and I love it. This is my first brave post.

Okay, so I just packed up my sleeping back and van and moved into a house for the first time in 5 years.  I'm a college student and work seasonally during the summer months.

We have a front fenced area about 12 x 17 yards which has had nothing growing but wild grass, some bird seed that took off, Blackberries and English Ivy.

--Lay out of the house and yard. North Facing yard with a house between some of the south facing but they yard does get some of the South exposure. The east side has a steep hill into a creek which tightly wraps around the east, south, and west area of the house. (2 Plum Trees on West/North corner, 2 Apple in front yard, 3-5 OLD cherry trees.)

We are on Day 3 of the English Ivy eradication.   We have cut and pulled our hearts out. Anyway 3 questions.

1. Should I Immediately try to replant the sides where we "killed" the ivy or let it sit?
2. If we let it sit should we lay cardboard down over they old root and cover it with wood chips; if we do will that continue to kill the Ivy? If the Ivy continues to die does the hill loose it's structure?
3. Our soil.  I am chomping at the bit to get things planted. Do I till the soil and plant clover and leave it for the spring? Or do I leave the yard as is until I can afford soil test?

I'm currently making calls to all the local farmers in hopes of organic byproducts. We live in a Marijuana cash crop areas so anything that could improve soil or help one with soil improvements is ridiculously prices.  I.E. 90/truck load of cow poop... Not compost just poop.

Today we're building a lil 6 hen chicken coop and 3 bay compost area searching for answers on what to do next.

Thank you for your time

--New Permie Gardener


Yard-1-Northeast.JPG
[Thumbnail for Yard-1-Northeast.JPG]
Untouched yard North East Corner
Yard-West-Side.JPG
[Thumbnail for Yard-West-Side.JPG]
West Side, Rotting Cherry Tree down
Side-Yard-West.JPG
[Thumbnail for Side-Yard-West.JPG]
*** East side yard
Yard-North-Side-Back-...-3-away-from-slope-into-creek.JPG
[Thumbnail for Yard-North-Side-Back-...-3-away-from-slope-into-creek.JPG]
"Back yard"
East-Side.JPG
[Thumbnail for East-Side.JPG]
Waiting for a metal bladed weed eater
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3422
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
276
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

1. Should I Immediately try to replant the sides where we "killed" the ivy or let it sit? 

 
Any time you disturb the soil or lay it bare you need to get some type of cover on it immediately to at least slow erosion (planting grass or ground covers works best once established).

2. If we let it sit should we lay cardboard down over they old root and cover it with wood chips; if we do will that continue to kill the Ivy? If the Ivy continues to die does the hill loose it's structure? 


If you are going to use cardboard to cover and try to kill the root system of Ivy, do cover the cardboard with at least 3 inches of wood chips. When roots die, they begin to decompose, which is what is usually wanted. A hill looses structure by erosion not root die off. The soil will loose the structures that held the soil in place.

3. Our soil.  I am chomping at the bit to get things planted. Do I till the soil and plant clover and leave it for the spring? Or do I leave the yard as is until I can afford soil test? 


Since you have been ripping out Ivy by the roots, odds are you have done enough disturbance to the surface soil and it is time to plant some winter rye grass to get some new roots growing to hold the soil in place.
As spring arrives you can then plant through the winter rye (annual grass) what ever type of ground covers you desire (vegetable can be planted too, or what every type of plants you want to grow there).
Just looking at your pictures, I think you can get by without a soil test for this first season, I'm going on appearance here.
The soil looks to be friable and containing some good microbiology from your photos.
If you could get a "close up" photo I could perhaps tell more about the surface soil appearance.

Redhawk
 
Flora Phillips
Posts: 2
Location: Fortuna, Ca 9B
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some pictures I took of 3 different areas of disturbed soil because we pulled ivy or blackberries out by the root. I also have another question (s)


Should I do a cereal rye/ hairy vetch mix?  


The rains will start coming but it's been in the mid to high 60's for 2 weeks now but I am doing all the rain dances I know how...  The rain will grace us with it's presence this winter!  Regardless, I'm curious about how to plant the cover crop.


Do I just throw the seed down?
No need to sow?
Also throw the seed down on a sunny or foggy week, or does it matter?


Thank you again for your time.

-Flora
Ivy...-what-kind.JPG
[Thumbnail for Ivy...-what-kind.JPG]
Not sure the type of ivy but boy the roots!
Ivy-gone..JPG
[Thumbnail for Ivy-gone..JPG]
What is left is hopefully Iris's ... The soil looks good but I think I just broke up all the good stuff. I'll seed this with Cereal Rye/ Feathery Vetch when the order comes in.
Soil-under-ivy.JPG
[Thumbnail for Soil-under-ivy.JPG]
This is the soil left after the Ivy was pulled
Soil-under-ivy-condensed.JPG
[Thumbnail for Soil-under-ivy-condensed.JPG]
Same area as above picture but I compacted it in my hand
Soil-Site-2.JPG
[Thumbnail for Soil-Site-2.JPG]
Different area under ivy
Soil-site-2-compressed.JPG
[Thumbnail for Soil-site-2-compressed.JPG]
soil-site-3.JPG
[Thumbnail for soil-site-3.JPG]
Another area, under blackberry vine
soil-site-3-compressed.JPG
[Thumbnail for soil-site-3-compressed.JPG]
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3422
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
276
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That looks like very nice soil, there are going to be bacteria and fungi hyphae in there because of the ivy and blackberry roots, so just getting cover on there is all I would worry about doing.

Cereal rye can be broadcast seeded and then raked over just to make sure the seeds are in good soil contact, it will also help with bird pilfering of your seeds.
Vetch for me is a mixed blessing, in my area it can keep regenerating so it is only used in pasture areas, same for morning glory in my area.
I love vetch, it worked great for me in New York and Northern California, Arkansas it is more "weed like" in that once it has roots established, it is tough to get rid of when you want it gone.

I like to use a mix of cereal rye, hairy vetch, crimson clover, dutch white clover, sweet (yellow) clover and rape for most cover crop areas.
I use this mix both as a chop and drop cover crop and as a pasture start up cover crop. The rape puts down large, deeper roots for breaking up the soil and adding lots of humus once it deteriorates.

For winter seeding, just get them down with good soil contact, the rains will do the rest, conditions really don't matter as much as lots of folks think.

Redhawk
 
Posts: 97
Location: Bendigo , Australia
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Inhave found this very informative, thanks
 
Posts: 328
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bryant RedHawk wrote:I've covered a lot of information about how to improve soils and what we want mineral wise in that soil.
In essence we feed the soil so those microorganisms we desire to live in the soil have everything they need to thrive.
Doing this, we inadvertently provide superior nutrition for the plants we grow in that soil for food.
Another way of looking at it is that we feed the soil to feed our plants and thus feed ourselves.
The end result is that we end up with balance in the soil that creates balance in our food plants and the food those plants produce which creates balance within our bodies.
From all that, we become healthy and our bodies are able to fight off or kill off diseases that try to invade.
This is what is meant by the great circle of life, organisms are born, thrive, perish, decay which puts the nutrients that made up the organism back into the soil and the whole process begins again.

By building our soil, we can then focus on other things like developing the forest around us to also provide us with food, both plant and animal.
We can spend time away from trying to grow plants, they will do that all on their own because our soil gathers in and holds water and oxygen, the microorganisms recycle the minerals in the soil and feed the plants and the organisms that make soil out of dirt.
We have time to go fishing, hunting, read books, relax how we like to relax.
Our work load has been reduced  because we build our soil, our health has improved greatly because we build our soil, our animals have improved health because we build our soil.
Life, becomes better because we build our soil.

As most here know I am a Native American,  one of the first people (if your in Canada), I have been following the good red road for most all my life and I am an elder person (not a tribal elder).
My culture is one of balance, healing and caretaking of the earth.
This is because in my culture it is what we are supposed to do for if we don't do this our great, great, great, grandchildren will not have a place to live.
In my nation I have been referred to as having great medicine and healing for the people, it is just something that I was supposed to do and so I do it.
I hope that what I have shared in this thread is of use to all who read it, do feel free to copy it and save it for future reference should you want to do that.

I am sure I will do a few more threads of how to heal the earth mother.
pilamayaye (pee-lah-mah-yah-yea) thank you. and remember always Mitakuye oyas'in (We are all related).

Redraw  

i thought you were native but didn't want to be rude and ask outright. Native peoples were permaculturists and keepers of the land long before the word was coined. i have some Micmac and Maliseet in my family and contribute that to my families love of growing and foraging for our food as well as preserving our natural world. our seasons would be named for what was there for the picking at the moment or when its was planting or harvesting time. i still label the times of year this way and have passed that on to my children. I'm so glad thingshave gone full circle and we once again are starting to put Mother Earth 1st. but we have so far to go. I'm grateful for your science and insight into the world of soil. it is almost a religious connection you have that makes you so passionate about the life in our soil. i look forward to your further posts on the subject! keep up the great work!
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3422
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
276
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hau Steve, I am Nakota Sioux and Irish.
I walk the medicine path. The people have great respect for all living beings (we consider everything alive and having a spirit as you know).

Pilamayaye Kola for the kind words.

Redhawk
 
steve bossie
Posts: 328
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Steve, I am Nakota Sioux and Irish.

I'm French Acadian Maliseet/ Micmac. my mother had enough blood in her to register with the Maliseet nation across the border in Canada but i was too far removed to be registered in either tribe. both  tribes share the similar region, beliefs and language . they're often considered the same peoples.  much respect sir!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1181
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Steve, send me a bit of your soil over!!
I added two pictures of my unimproved 'soil'. It is around the grey water area, which I redesign and replant a bit. I use Mediterranean herbs there but the weeds grow aggressively and are difficult to rip out.
Mediterranean herbs do well there.
According top this webpage: ASRIS most of our area consists in so called Kurosols and Rudosols (if I read the map right since the colours of the legend and the map are quite different. Unfortunately I can't take a screenshot. Both are quite poor according to this poster: soil classification
P1070598_opt.jpg
[Thumbnail for P1070598_opt.jpg]
waste water area1
P1070599_opt.jpg
[Thumbnail for P1070599_opt.jpg]
waste water are 2
 
Posts: 111
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Flora, Im also a resident of the beautiful emerald triangle. Our soil here is pretty great, Fortuna has some especially delightful soil. Without a soil test I can tell you that you will benefit from a bit of magnesium rich rock dust. I'm pretty sure we're all lacking geologically in that realm out here. Quick and dirty route is to use epsom salt in occasional watering, if you're using tap water I think something around 1 TBSP of epsom per 5 gal of water will be plenty. This is most crucial for fruiting plants like tomatoes or peppers or cabbages. But it never hurts around here, we are lacking much. Otherwise I find it hard to maintain bare ground around these parts. I would check for some local cover mixes for any area you aren't going to cultivate becuase things will regrow. Ivy and blackberry will need to be repeatedly removed, that's life around here. Dig out roots when you're feeling ambitious, always cut sprouts you find where you don't want them. Mints and balms make good cover that competes with these and is usefull and fun. Best of luck
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1181
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another question: Steve Solomon says that the relationships of different ions are important, i.e. copper and zinc. I think I read somewere that not everyone agrees on that. What's your take?
 
We don't have time for this. We've gotta save the moon! Or check this out:
2018 Peasant Permaculture Design Course in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/74473/permaculture-projects/Peasant-Permaculture-Design-Montana
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!