(This is a list of--hopefully--all of Bryant RedHawk's awesome threads about soil microbiology. I made it a wiki that can be edited so that new threads can be added and hopefully short summaries of each thread will be next to the link for easy reference. I plan on putting a link to this thread on each thread so it's easy to find others in the series.)
Location: Schofields, NSW. Australia. Zone 9-11 Temperate to Sub Tropical
posted 2 years ago
Congratulations on your achievement. It's wonderful to have all the threads here in one place. I've often referred to your information and appreciate that you share so much that is useful. Thank you for your time.
I finally completed reading this entire series in sequence last night. Some of the articles I had read previously. More than once. I've been gardening & learning about soil for a long time. This series really helped me put many of the pieces of the soil & web of life puzzle together. It answered many questions & of course raised others. It gave me confidence that I have been doing most things right & also clarified what else needs to be done. The timing is perfect too. I recently became steward of a 100+ year old family cattle ranch. As far as the soil and plants go, things are already changing for the better.
Well done indeed. Thanks Dr. Redhawk!!!
Argue for your limitations and they are yours forever.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:As I write more threads on the subjects of soil, compost, and other related materials I will be adding the link to this page so it is up to date.
I thank Nicole Alderman for coming up with this idea and implementing it.
Thanks for all your wonderful work. I read much of your posts on soil types with interest, but I could not really find one that seems to well describe my soil type here. I live in NW Arkansas, SW Ozarks and the soil is well more rock than soil. We live on horizontal sheets of rocks that seem to reproduce little baby rocklets. It is almost like the earth is trying to cleanse itself of impurities. The more rocks you remove, the more that seem to spontaneously appear. It just pushed them to the surface. The rocks are quite jaded and brittle. There is quite a bit of chert so Arkansas could have been really made. You don't want to walk in bare get as you can get nasty cuts.
It is intensive work to make this dirt into soil. It is actually too well drained. It is not particularly sandy looking but the large quantity of a variety of sizes of rocks seen to make it drain very well. I suspect that the rocks have also weathered well into sand, but I have not had it tested since we moved here. I am going to try the no till method starting with cardboard and I.have loss off wood chips courtesy of the local electric company. The drainage is so good that when there is a water leak the local water utility cannot always locate them at least not in a short order.
The weather is temperate, with a couple months of of and on freezing temperatures. The summers are quite hot and can get humid because we are on a very large lake. However much of the time it is quite dry with not a lot of rain. With these limited info given, do you have any immediate thoughts.
hau Ralph, Your soil is just like mine (Ouachita Mountains) The USGS designation is "Stoney, sandy loam" which means we can grow great rocks and our soil drains down to that Clay layer that extends up from the bed rock, the clay is terra cotta clay.
What I've been doing is mostly chop and drop style composting/mulching and it is working pretty well.
I use a broad spectrum seed mix of clovers (Crimson, White Dutch, Sweet(yellow), rape, alfalfa, hairy vetch, field peas and annual rye grass. This is allowed to grow to about 8 inches then I mow it down to around 1./5 inches tall letting the cuttings lay.
In areas we garden for our vegetables I use no spraystraw bales, two wide and however long we want, these are wetted for 3 weeks and spent coffee grounds and Epsom salts are spread on the tops and watered into the bales to get them to start composting.
We have done this for 4 years now and we are getting deeper top soil from putting down the new bales every two years, on top of the totally collapsed old bales, we also have done a concrete block surround of the bales to hold them in place as they fall apart.
I'll get back to you with some other ideas we have used and found to work well for us.
Your piles of wood chips are golden, use them in 3 to 4 inch thick layers where you want to grow things.
We use the rocks that come up to build terraces down our south slope so we will be able to use those areas for gardening as they get completed.