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bringing_the_soil_to_life [2008-12-31 11:21]
87.210.211.132 created
bringing_the_soil_to_life [2013-06-21 08:37] (current)
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-==== Bringing the soil to life ====+===== Bringing the soil to life ====
 + 
 +[[Reading notes]] from //Gaia's Garden// by Toby Hemenway 
 + 
 +------
  
 An acre of good pasture soil may support one horse above the ground, and it may contains 8 or 10 horses worth of animals below ground (worms, millipetes, mites etc) An acre of good pasture soil may support one horse above the ground, and it may contains 8 or 10 horses worth of animals below ground (worms, millipetes, mites etc)
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 Microbes also building up soil. As they feed, certain soil bacteria sectrete gums, waxes and gels that hold tiny particles of earth together. Dividing fungal cells lenghten into long fingers of hyphae that surround crumbs of soil and bind them  to each other. These goeey microbial byproducts protect soil from drying and allow it to hold huge volumes of water. Microbes also building up soil. As they feed, certain soil bacteria sectrete gums, waxes and gels that hold tiny particles of earth together. Dividing fungal cells lenghten into long fingers of hyphae that surround crumbs of soil and bind them  to each other. These goeey microbial byproducts protect soil from drying and allow it to hold huge volumes of water.
  
 +------
 === Humus === === Humus ===
 +
 Humus is made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, bonded together in ways that makes it difficult for soil organisms to attack. Humus is made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen, bonded together in ways that makes it difficult for soil organisms to attack.
  
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 A common soil problem is to little nitrogen;  A common soil problem is to little nitrogen; 
- ideal is use mulches (organic matter on top of the soil to smother weeds and renew nutrients) and compost  with a ratio of  30:1 as decomposer organisms needs a balanced diet, and nitrogen-fixing covercrops+ideal is use mulches (organic matter on top of the soil to smother weeds and renew nutrients) and compost  with a ratio of  30:1 as decomposer organisms needs a balanced diet, and nitrogen-fixing covercrops
  
 You can use woodshaving or straw on top of the soil ( so as mulch), but not should not be tillted into the soil as it is very poor on nitrogen You can use woodshaving or straw on top of the soil ( so as mulch), but not should not be tillted into the soil as it is very poor on nitrogen
  
 Using chemical fertilzers or tilting soil leads to depleting the soil after a few seasons. Using chemical fertilzers or tilting soil leads to depleting the soil after a few seasons.
 +
 +-----
  
 === compost === === compost ===
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 For  quick fertility to soil, use compost. For intnsively worked bedds you can make sheetmulch. But for large areas, for long term fertility, and for shifting the labor to nature ample: use cover crops. For  quick fertility to soil, use compost. For intnsively worked bedds you can make sheetmulch. But for large areas, for long term fertility, and for shifting the labor to nature ample: use cover crops.
 +
 +-----
  
 === covercrops === === covercrops ===
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 Many cover crops send roots 10 to 15 feet deep. (3 - 4,5 m). Many cover crops send roots 10 to 15 feet deep. (3 - 4,5 m).
 The more varied covercrops we plant: the more will be the soil life's diversity; this will subdue disease and boost plant growth. (each plant secrets its own array of sugars and other compounds from its roots which attracts differrent communitys of soil organisms to it. The more varied covercrops we plant: the more will be the soil life's diversity; this will subdue disease and boost plant growth. (each plant secrets its own array of sugars and other compounds from its roots which attracts differrent communitys of soil organisms to it.
 +------
  
 === nitrogen -fixing covercrops === === nitrogen -fixing covercrops ===
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 A to rich nitrogen fuel  can actually deplete more organic matter than the cover crops adds.  A to rich nitrogen fuel  can actually deplete more organic matter than the cover crops adds. 
 So its best to balans out the covercrops of which  10% to 40 % are non nitrogen-fixing plants. So its best to balans out the covercrops of which  10% to 40 % are non nitrogen-fixing plants.
 +------
 +
 +more on specific (nitrogen-fixing) covercrops see [[edible gardening]]
 +
 +[[groworld]]
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