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Phosphorous green manure  RSS feed

 
Roberto Barbagallo
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Hi!

I understood seedlings need P to grow well. So I was thinking to put some dinamic accumulators such as fennel in water for a week or so and then use the water for the little plants. What do you think?
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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Is there a reason you don't want to just chop up the fennel and mulch with it? The water seems like an unnecessary step to me.
 
Roberto Barbagallo
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Isnt more concentrated and better suited for the little plants? I know people make tea with nettle for the same purpose...
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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Yes and no. If you are going to the trouble of growing edible food just to extract the inorganic phosphate in a water solution you might as well just go to a chemical phosphate and eat the food your self, It'd be better for the environment, take less fossil fuel, and save you time. However you put that soluble phosphorus ion in the water it's going to be in there, and do identical damage for identical levels. One of the things that happens when you put a dead plant on the ground is that Mycorrhizal fungi will break it down, and one of the things Mycorrhyzae excel at doing is moving phosphorus to the plants that they are partnered with. This way you get organic matter, soil symbiosis, and delivery of the phosphorus when your plant needs it. If you are going to start down the path towards chemically engineering the soil environment you might as well skip down a few steps and save your self the headache, but I'd vote for the soil food web way first and foremost, unless your soil is really really terrible, then I vote chemical bath to kickstart the process.
 
Roberto Barbagallo
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My situation is that the soil is pretty poor (in fact no worms only insectary activity) and is invaded by the wild oat and Cynodon dactylon (couch grass, devil's grass). I guess the nature is trying to rebuild the soil using the most organic material plant producers. That's my observation at least. Also there are no trees in this field and we are in the sicilian countryside where is starting to getting pretty hot. My question is : the direct hot sun and the high temperature arent going to influence the breaking down process?

thanks
Roby
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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psytek wrote:
My question is : the direct hot sun and the high temperature arent going to influence the breaking down process?



Yes, I think in a good way if you use mulch - the plant material will break down releasing phosphorous and also adding organic material to the soil which will improve the life and structure.  If you just add tea (or chemical) the soil life and structure will not be improved.  Also less work for you to simply put the fennel plants on the soil as mulch instead of making tea of them. 

 
Emerson White
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Keep in mind that Phosphorus is an element, you have to launch it into the belly of an exploding star to destroy it. If that happens lack of phosphorus will be the least of your concerns.
 
Roberto Barbagallo
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hahah...cool..and mulch shall be!
 
Paula Edwards
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I wouldn't compare fennel tea with artificial fertilizers, but yes, poor soil needs organic matter. For this reason, the Australians love mulch and there is no gardening book in Australia which does not praise the mulch. It keeps temperatures down in summer too and it keeps the soil moist.
The only thing is to get the stuff. You might ask professional gardeners (those who tidy up other people's garden) or neighbours if they want to get rid of stuff. Take everything, grass clippings, leaves, twigs, branches, whole trees etc. Or you do cover crops or green manure.
 
George Lee
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Just go living mulch! Cut it down or let it go free, as long as your leafy greens can outcompete it... I've had great success with this.
 
Roberto Barbagallo
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what living mulch are you using for the summer? Here I think I'll cover most of the garden with pumpkins and the wild fennel is for the phosphorous
 
George Lee
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In partial-shaded areas, crimson...It can definitely tolerate cool, but extreme hot makes it wilt considerably. Here's photos for you. It's thick and lush. Watered by mama nature.
Clover1.jpg
[Thumbnail for Clover1.jpg]
Clover2.jpg
[Thumbnail for Clover2.jpg]
 
George Lee
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Nice 'lil patch going...It truly keeps the ground moist, but not too much.
You may want to try borage, it's such a valuable companion and will self-seed an area. Not only that, but its beautiful (starflower) and has many many medicinal properties.
I have more clover growing in South Carolina (a mix actually: red,crimson, and white dutch), but no photos at the moment...
Enjoy...
Clover3.jpg
[Thumbnail for Clover3.jpg]
Clover4.jpg
[Thumbnail for Clover4.jpg]
 
Roberto Barbagallo
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We had borage in spring but now is totally dry and just few survived the heat. In one of the projects I'm following there is no shaded area but I will check the crimson for the second food forest project. It's hard to find a cover crop for this kind of summer. Cheers!
 
Roberto Barbagallo
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such nice patch by the way. I dont think the would survive in the climate I had (now moved to another place) in the area and with no shadow nor much water to use.
Anyway to be back to the fennel mulch, I think that is true is better for mycelium, but I think for use it' easier to spray a liquid that to mulch around already enstablished plants, at least in my bed set. But I'm not sure the value of P would be transfer at the same rate.

R
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Ive just begun to use lemon balm as a chop and drop for my plants. It is nice because it helps to repel certain bugs, its smells nice, grows like crazy and breaks down pretty fast. I dont have an hard results yet since its early, but im hoping my young plants and fruiting plants will benefit from it.
 
George Lee
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psytek wrote:
such nice patch by the way. I dont think the would survive in the climate I had (now moved to another place) in the area and with no shadow nor much water to use.
Anyway to be back to the fennel mulch, I think that is true is better for mycelium, but I think for use it' easier to spray a liquid that to mulch around already enstablished plants, at least in my bed set. But I'm not sure the value of P would be transfer at the same rate.

R

Thanks man. What's your zone? They do like some shade, you're right. It's been near 100F here in Georgia ( zone 8 ) and they've wilted a bit and come back by evening.
 
Ken Peavey
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Focusing on a single aspect of plant growth is what made modern agriculture and brought out its sins. 

You can feed the plant, you'll get a big plant.  Feed the soil, you'll get a big healthy plant.
 
George Lee
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Ken Peavey wrote:
Focusing on a single aspect of plant growth is what made modern agriculture and brought out its sins. 

You can feed the plant, you'll get a big plant.  Feed the soil, you'll get a big healthy plant.
Yes, good point. Feed the soil, and it will feed us. Nice simple mantra that has real-world implications. Avoid the monoculture mindset and travel back a few hundred years where manure, and fish emulsion were standards...
 
Michael Radelut
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Location: Germany, 7b-ish
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psytek wrote:
Also there are no trees in this field and we are in the sicilian countryside where is starting to getting pretty hot.



Why don't you start with trees, then ? The myth that fields and trees don't go together has been thoroughly disspelled:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgy4cg_agroforesterie-enjeux-et-perspectives_tech

In your climate a few north-south rows of nitrogen-fixing trees with plenty of light foliage that composts well will lay the foundation for everything else.
Robinia is an obvious contender; you can see it in the above film as well. You can always cut it back when it shades out your vegetables.
 
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