Seth Gardener

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since Jul 12, 2020
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Recent posts by Seth Gardener

Jen Fulkerson wrote:My chicken yard is a long ago horse corral.  It was so dry and hard most weeds wouldn't even grow there, and forget about digging.  A few months ago I finally got my son to dump a load of wood chips into the chicken yard.  I started to spread them out, but stopped deciding the chickens would enjoy spreading them around.  They did a pretty good job spreading them over the yard.  
Yesterday out of curiosity I pulled the chips aside, and under was dark damp digable soil.  We have had basically no rain, and I don't water.  Yet in only a few months the wood chips have transformed the soil from dry hard pan to beautiful soil. Not to mention giving the chickens endless hours of entertainment.  I am a true believer!  Wood chips are a miracle soil cure.

Pretty much anytime you lay down wood chips, straw or any kind of mulch where wasn't,  microbes in the soil will become active, worms will me attracted, the soil will become progressively more and more arorated, and the soil food web will begin forming.

From one perspective the food web is based on on a mulch layor of carbon. Available nitrogen will eventually be there with out adding  any, and far more likely than not, phosphorous and mineral solubilizing microbes will establish themselves and flourish.
2 months ago
California is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. It is what they call a, Floristic Province. There are only 25 or Florensic provinces on the planet.

These are regions with high biodiversity and a unusual amount of endemic species, meaning species that aren't found anywhere else.

California has already lost countless endemic species to extinction  because they were displaced from their niches by invasive species and that has only just begin.

The redwoods are being over run with scotch broom, pampas grass, and acacia that were spread around by logging trucks Twenty years ago. Now they are every where and their emergence in that ecosystem has just begun, meaning what we are seeing is just the begining..

Forest that are trying to recover from logging now have faster growing acacias popping up. They are able to grow well in dark canopies so they grow right next to the redwoods and them shoot their branches over the redwood branches choking out their light while changing the soil chemistry (N fixation) and pH in the rhizosphere to conditions that better suits the acacia than the redwoods, not to mention spewing out massive amounts of seeds.
Acacia fill a niche in australia but here they are not kept in balance and so they are throwing everything out of balance. .

Pampas grass takes over entire meadows and ocean bluffs where now nothing else will grow all the while causing erosion because of their thick lateral root growth. Not all plants control soil erosion, some cause it.

I've seen areas along hwy one where they have been battling patches of scotch broom for 20+ years and it is still not under control, still spreading and like someone else already pointed out it is displacing species that already filled niches including wild life and covering the area so nothing else would grow and due to its poison seeds it will not feed the wild life that once flourished there.

Yes, nature produces things in a way that fills a niche, but sometimes if you remove that species from there and put it in a new ecosystem where nothing is holding it in balance it becomes something more like a cancer on a body, or a plague in a population than like a part of an ecosystem.

Having massive amounts of Nitrogen fixed into an ecosystem that does not depend on that will destroy that ecosystem. It can interfere with natural mychorizal associations and cause certain soil microbes that plants in that ecosystem depend on to shrink away because they will not longer thrive in those conditions.

All of these plants where brought to California to make the suburbs look nice. They did not arrive here naturally. They were ornamentals. Logging devastated the land scape and it's trucks spread the seeds along hwys and also deep into the forest on logging roads.

2 months ago