Robert Kourik

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since Dec 14, 2014
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Recent posts by Robert Kourik

Deer rub their antlers on many different trees to rub the velvet off. Here in N. CA the willows and Ceanothus are most likely to have the rubbing.
1 year ago
The upper horizon of the soil is where the most nutrients are liberated. One of the most famous deep-rooted, supposed dynamic accumulators is comfrey (Symphytum officinale). (Dynamic accumulators are those plants thought to gather more of particular minerals than other plants.) When it comes to the accumulation of NPK and silica, the anecdotal opinion is that comfrey is a dynamic accumulator plant with long roots that mine minerals and nutrients from very deep in the soil. (There are reports of comfrey roots reaching as much as ten feet into the ground.) As to comfrey being a dynamic accumulator, it’s hard to find any data. I was able to find a study that showed that the immobilized tannins prepared from lateral roots of comfrey chelated (pulled out) 3.5 times more lead from the soil than those from the taproots. Yikes—comfrey as a lead-accumulator plant! Young plants have more "side-ways" roots than a deep taproot. One drawing done by "mapping" the root system by excavation it I have in my book Understanding Roots shows comfrey roots down only to 24 inches (each square is one foot) and the taproot appears to be withering. Here's another drawing of comfrey roots I have found no documented taproot down to 10 feet.
2 years ago
"Permaculture teaches that a SPECIFIC SUBSET OF PLANTS are ESPECIALLY WELL ADAPTED, based on their long taproots or other features, to accumulating nutrients faster / in higher quantities / from different sources than other plants." (from permie.com) So very often people make the assumption the dynamic accumulators work because of a deep taproot. Often they state deep taproots are considered the only way dynamic accumulators work. This assumption is false. Take stinging nettle as an example. It is famous by permies as a superior dynamic accumulator. Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica (shown on the left) is said to accumulate , K, Ca, S, Fe, Na It is famous for iron. This can be substantiated by leaf samples. It is documented as a iron-nutritious iron-rich food. But it does NOT have a taproot. It's roots do grow 4-5 feet wide (as shown in the drawing on the right) but have only shallow roots. The roots are more like shallow rhizomes. I think they may accumulate more of some nutrients, but it is from a genetic "programing" that distinguishes dynamic accumulators. There are other examples of assumed dynamic accumulators that don't have taproots.
2 years ago
That's them! Thanks so much Burra. What a great help.
2 years ago
The upper horizon of the soil is where the most nutrients are liberated. One of the most famous deep-rooted, supposed dynamic accumulators is comfrey (Symphytum officinale). (Dynamic accumulators are those plants thought to gather more of particular minerals than other plants.) When it comes to the accumulation of NPK and silica, the anecdotal opinion is that comfrey is a dynamic accumulator plant with long roots that mine minerals and nutrients from very deep in the soil. (There are reports of comfrey roots reaching as much as ten feet into the ground.) As to comfrey being a dynamic accumulator, it’s hard to find any data. I was able to find a study that showed that the immobilized tannins prepared from lateral roots of comfrey chelated (pulled out) 3.5 times more lead from the soil than those from the taproots. Yikes—comfrey as a lead-accumulator plant! I have found no documented taproot down to 10 feet.
2 years ago
The upper horizon of the soil is where the most nutrients are liberated. One of the most famous deep-rooted, supposed dynamic accumulators is comfrey (Symphytum officinale). (Dynamic accumulators are those plants thought to gather more of particular minerals than other plants.) When it comes to the accumulation of NPK and silica, the anecdotal opinion is that comfrey is a dynamic accumulator plant with long roots that mine minerals and nutrients from very deep in the soil. (There are reports of comfrey roots reaching as much as ten feet into the ground.) As to comfrey being a dynamic accumulator, it’s hard to find any data. I was able to find a study that showed that the immobilized tannins prepared from lateral roots of comfrey chelated (pulled out) 3.5 times more lead from the soil than those from the taproots. Yikes—comfrey as a lead-accumulator plant! I have found no documented taproot down to 10 feet.
2 years ago
The upper horizon of the soil is where the most nutrients are liberated. One of the most famous deep-rooted, supposed dynamic accumulators is comfrey (Symphytum officinale). (Dynamic accumulators are those plants thought to gather more of particular minerals than other plants.) When it comes to the accumulation of NPK and silica, the anecdotal opinion is that comfrey is a dynamic accumulator plant with long roots that mine minerals and nutrients from very deep in the soil. (There are reports of comfrey roots reaching as much as ten feet into the ground.) As to comfrey being a dynamic accumulator, it’s hard to find any data. I was able to find a study that showed that the immobilized tannins prepared from lateral roots of comfrey chelated (pulled out) 3.5 times more lead from the soil than those from the taproots. Yikes—comfrey as a lead-accumulator plant! On the left we see a young plant where there are more "side-ways" roots than a deep taproot. The drawing on the right shows comfrey roots down only to 24 inches (each square is one foot) and the taproot appears to be withering. I have found no documented taproot down to 10 feet.
2 years ago
In most cases roots aren't mutually beneficial. But they can grow quite well together in the same aerobic layer of soil - the upper 1-2 feet. But legumes and legume trees do provide a small amount of nitrogen over the years. But most of the nitrogen goes into the tree, only a tiny bit is "shared" with other plants. The legumes as a group have to be shocked in order for the nodules to "shed" for the use of the nitrogen nodules by other plants - mowing, grazing, heavy pruning, fire, death.
3 years ago