Photo by Melody

Soil and Composting: Nitrogen depleted, but excess of phosphorus?

Communities > Forums > Soil and Composting
bookmark
Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 40, Views: 331
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 17, 2010
3:35 PM

Post #7801717

Is it even possible for a soil to be nitrogen depleted, but have an excess of phosphorus? What conditions would cause such a wide variance? I just bought a Rapitest soil test kit and this is what it told me for one part of my garden. This area has been growing things well, including a couple of hydrangeas and a viburnum - all have nice leaves and good flowering. Wouldn't a deficit of nitrogen cause poor leafing? I'm just trying to understand if this can be accurate or if something seems amiss! Does anyone have any answers about wild variations in soil elements? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 17, 2010
3:59 PM

Post #7801790

I should add that it also said my potash was depleted.
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 18, 2010
4:29 AM

Post #7803275

I had a soil test once about 1960. Let the plants tell you what you need to know. The natural thing to do following a soil test where plants are already growing nicely is to mess up the soil with man made additives.

I would throw away the soil test kit and mulch with the intent to be under permanent mulch in due time. I have never added man made fertilizers to any of my gardens. If the plants are asking for fertilization add a low number organic fertilizer like 4-2-4. Even this should be added very gingerly. Flowers need very litle feeding.

sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 18, 2010
6:23 AM

Post #7803605

Thanks, Doc! You're probably right about just letting the plants be the guide. I'm just too interested and fascinated in the science, though!
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 18, 2010
8:09 PM

Post #7805872

The further into science you get the further you will find yourself away from healthy soil building leading to healthy plants and good food and other garden plants too. Science has failed to build soil biology and stronger plants since about 1930. That is why the organic principles are being used more and more by greater and greater numbers of growers. That is why tons of food in the grocers line ups are not fit to eat in many folk's opinions. Sadly sometimes there are not many good options.
Katye
Sammamish, WA
(Zone 7b)

May 18, 2010
10:52 PM

Post #7806114

I'm sure that if it were possible to have a patent ($) on mulch, Science would be all over it like white on rice.
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 19, 2010
5:23 AM

Post #7806372

The aged old argument is that millions will die of starvation if we do not use chemicals for food production.
The truth is that healthy soil builders can and do produce more and better food when they expend the time to work the chemicals and sick biology out of their soils. You will not hear much about this because the major chemical companies control the land grant colleges, the governmental farm cash flow and the media. What will eventually change the picture as it in fact is rapidly changing right now is the cost and sustainability of oil. The cost of those man made chemicals and fertilizers are becoming more and more costly to use.

No back yard gardener or small patch grower any longer needs to be dependent on man made fertilizers or spray materials that poison our soils, streams, bays and oceans. It is now up to the desire of individuals and persistence in learning the healthy patch principles. Ten bucks will buy a good book on the subject.
This site is stuffed full of organic and healthy patch principles presented by many growers.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 20, 2010
11:31 AM

Post #7810948

I've never had a soil test done.

Eventually, all the stuff I throw in the compost pile and garden breaks down, feeds the microbes, which feed the vegetables, which feed me.

That's the way Mother Nature intended it to be since the dawn of time :)

I do add some organic fertilizer once in a while to give her a hand.
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2010
7:17 PM

Post #7812221

That last post is from one of the most beautiful cities in America. Just taking an afternoon drive reveals many neat gardens both public and private. The farmer's markets are just plain outstanding while offering food grown in healthy soil...some of which is certified organic. Keep up the good work HonneybeeNC.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 22, 2010
10:08 PM

Post #7818753

Besides all the smart stuff above, I've also read that home soil test kits are often not too accurate.
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 23, 2010
4:15 AM

Post #7818986

One of my giant pumpkin growing friends sent correctly taken soil samples to four different testing places. This included two land grant colleges and two commercial testers. All of these would have been considered good testing sites. There were significant differences in tested facts from all when compared with each other. The college costs were ten to fifteen dollars. The commercial costs were thirty five to forty five for the exact same tests. Other growers got the same mixed reports when a few tried two test sites with the same collected soil.

I see no reason to name colleges or test sites since it would make no difference yet could indeed get me into a bunch of difficulty. I assume the test kits side by side would get still different test results. We also have different human handling of the instructions in all cases. I think there would be no differences between human being results who test farm fields or gardeners who test much smaller plots.

What the tests are good for is to indicate possible problems when soil is way out of healthy condition. This is rarely the situation in back yard gardens unless you have been careless with the man made poison chemicals or absolutely crazy with the use of raw manures. This is to say that unless your plants are refusing to grow and produce within reasonable results tests are not a whole lot of good. Remember the weeds need the same plant growing elements as the food producing plants. They both produce nicely in a PH of 6.0 to 7.0. All finished compost including the compost between a good mulch rotting zone and the soil will test about 7.0. The soil being amended will move a little towards PH of 7.0 when compost is used no matter which side of 7.0 your soil is before the amendment. Everything else improves with the addition of compost including the presence of trace minerals, water holding and release factors, attraction and feeding of worms and soil structure.

Those who continually use man made chemicals grow in nearly sterile soil where the soil biology has been nuked. It is the soil biology and only the soil biology that will mend and fix up harm done in past years. The man made chemicals are poisons and in my opinion should be labeled as Biocides. The return to healthy soil will take years while the same poisons leach out of the growing plots and fields they remain non-biodegradable and simply move down stream to basins in the streams, bays and oceans. The never change. This having been said the salts of the ocean will not be any different in make up except they will be containing more poisons as time goes on. In time our grandchildren will not eat sea salt, fish, shell fish and possibly not swim in the oceans of the world. In no single year have we put less poison in our water since about 1930. In fact we have just authorized much more poison permitted with the newest form of natural gas removal from the soil.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 23, 2010
7:32 AM

Post #7819376

docgipe - There are a few reasons why I've never had a soil test done:

1) My parents and I grew enough vegetables and fruit in our over-sized backyard to feed us, and sometimes there was enough to sell to the neighbors. My mum ran a guest house, and we fed them from the garden, too. All without soil tests.

2) As you have said, and what I have always suspected - compost has a neutral pH. I also suspect worm castings are 7.0 too.

3) Since the advent of the internet, I have been a member of various gardening sites and have often read that individuals have found soil testing to be unreliable.

4) My mantra has always been: "If it aint broke, don't fix it!"
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

May 23, 2010
6:58 PM

Post #7821148

My dad was an organic gardener because until about 1930 there was no such thing as man made chemicals. When he finally did get a bag of 5-10-5 he smelled it and said it stunk. He never used any of it in his lifetime. I more or less followed his opinion. Been a poopers grower all my fifty years of gardening. If it comes out of the South end of an animal facing North I have likely used it.

During the depression dad with some help fed two or three other families but only if they would share in the weed pulling or if they had something to swap. We often had tramps stop by and work for their keep and to replenish their road pack. Very few expected a hand out. None got help if they were not willing to help in the property upkeep. I caught my first rabbit in a snare that a tramp showed me how to make and set. That was about 1946. I trap a little even to this day. I still like to make a crock full of salt fish in the late fall. I know that is not on my good menu but those skills may yet be needed as part of a good life style.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 24, 2010
6:53 AM

Post #7822258

Incidentally, there must be some reason they make 5-10-5 other than logic. If you have read 'tapla's posts you've read that plant material is in a ratio more like 3-1-2. I bet there is a manufacturing reason that 5-10-5 is so cheap and 'standard'.
dlbailey
Central Valley, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 14, 2010
9:34 PM

Post #7889626

docgipe wrote:The aged old argument is that millions will die of starvation if we do not use chemicals for food production.
The truth is that healthy soil builders can and do produce more and better food when they expend the time to work the chemicals and sick biology out of their soils. You will not hear much about this because the major chemical companies control the land grant colleges, the governmental farm cash flow and the media. What will eventually change the picture as it in fact is rapidly changing right now is the cost and sustainability of oil. The cost of those man made chemicals and fertilizers are becoming more and more costly to use.

No back yard gardener or small patch grower any longer needs to be dependent on man made fertilizers or spray materials that poison our soils, streams, bays and oceans. It is now up to the desire of individuals and persistence in learning the healthy patch principles. Ten bucks will buy a good book on the subject.
This site is stuffed full of organic and healthy patch principles presented by many growers.


So true! Numerous studies have shown that a) backyard gardens and traditional farms are 2-5 times as productive per acre as commercial farms for a fraction of the resources, b) the cost and productivity of commercial farms does not take into account the cost of fuel and other raw materials that go into production and c) the cost does not take into account the destruction of ecosystem that are more biologically diverse than man made systems.

docgipe wrote:One of my giant pumpkin growing friends sent correctly taken soil samples to four different testing places. This included two land grant colleges and two commercial testers. All of these would have been considered good testing sites. There were significant differences in tested facts from all when compared with each other. The college costs were ten to fifteen dollars. The commercial costs were thirty five to forty five for the exact same tests. Other growers got the same mixed reports when a few tried two test sites with the same collected soil.

I see no reason to name colleges or test sites since it would make no difference yet could indeed get me into a bunch of difficulty. I assume the test kits side by side would get still different test results. We also have different human handling of the instructions in all cases. I think there would be no differences between human being results who test farm fields or gardeners who test much smaller plots.


Soil differs quite a bit within a small area and seasonally to accurately know what nutrients are present and available the whole time in a given area. I agree that soil tests are a tool that should be used as a guideline not an end all.

Thanks Docgipe for relating your experience.
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2010
10:32 AM

Post #7890735

Whew...I ducked thinking I was about to be tared and feathered. :) I have been sometimes after I present the above message.
dlbailey
Central Valley, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 15, 2010
11:37 AM

Post #7890879

Ditto! Sometimes when I suggest any organic or natural approach, there are a few that jump down my throat.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 15, 2010
12:44 PM

Post #7891065

We used to hide the idea that we were "health nuts" but as I grew older, when someone called me a "health nut" I answered, "I'm not nuts, just healthy" and still later in life, when "organic" produce became more available and people complained about it being higher in price, I coined the phrase "It's cheaper than doctor bills"

Now that I'm as old as dirt, I pretty much don't care what people think!

docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2010
5:52 PM

Post #7891840

I'm getting up there in years like seventy five and counting. It still irks me a bit when we try so hard to have folks discover the simplicity of the organic principles and then come to realize not to many really try. Every once in a while someone really does try and succeeds. When they drop us a note of appreciation for our encouragement we consider that a dandy pay day.

It blows my mind sometimes what we discover. I recently discovered that my helper who follows my instructions when working for me still uses 10-10-10 and some horrible cides on his food patch. He has been here living the organic principles via my instructions for two years. Proof in the pudding that it does not always rub off to those that see and seem to understand. He has proven to be a very good worker. I just find this an interesting observation.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 18, 2010
1:22 PM

Post #7900066

docgipe - my hubby will be 78 in August.

I think most people believe the organic way doesn't work, because if it did, wouldn't all farmers grow that way? Or they think the yield won't be enough, or the bugs will eat the plants because there are no insecticides to kill them!

I've grown organically all my life, and know from experience that if I leave Mother Nature to take care of things, it will always work out in my favor in the end. Of course, squishing a few bad bugs with my fingers helps, too. (giggle)
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 19, 2010
4:22 AM

Post #7901952

"I think most people believe the organic way doesn't work, because if it did, wouldn't all farmers grow that way? Or they think the yield won't be enough, or the bugs will eat the plants because there are no insecticides to kill them"!

Unfortunately they have been taught those words and thoughts by the chemical companies monocultural philosophy which are mostly sales gimmics and lies. True they have a fiddler to pay in order to rebuild what they have ruined. If they all started today heading in the right direction of soil building it would take years to rebuild what they started with in about 1935. The difficult part of this is the fact many actually believe what they have been taught now with their fathers and grandfathers being a part of the support system. Some very good biologists are hoping every day that the farm soils have not been raped of their ability to recover.

Where I live the Dutch or plain folks still farm with horses and good biological practices in their soil management. Pennsylvania still has millions of acres of good soil because of these folks who live a simple life and do not waste much of anything. Their fields of anything are a beautiful site to observe.
dlbailey
Central Valley, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 19, 2010
7:02 AM

Post #7902247

I'm so glad there are others on DG that support organic. Lately, it seems that there has been this whole down with organic tone on some threads.

The anti-organic/sustainability comes out of pure ignorance. Truth is that sustainable production is much cheaper and more productive in the short and longterm. The low cost of conventional ag comes from several layers of subsidies from cost diversion - corporations never have to pay for their own ecological mess - to economies of scale to outright subsidies. If big ag had to foot the whole bill, local and organic would always be cheaper.

Another thing, do those that use chemicals in their garden realize what they are really applying? Much of what is offered in the US has been banned in Europe for years. They are nasty stuff that are known carcigenics and neurotoxins that causes serious damage to children and adults. It gets into your water and food supply, concentrating and cycling through several times over for years. I would rather have my garden up and die on me than resort to manmade chemicals.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 19, 2010
8:56 AM

Post #7902507

dlbailey-
Quoting: I would rather have my garden up and die on me than resort to manmade chemicals.


Fortunately, with good organic practices, this is very unlikely to happen.

When I moved here, I figured it would take five years for the preditor to prey relationship to become balanced. This is my fourth summer, and I have already seen this happening. It can only get easier from now on.

It's wonderful to be able to turn over the soil with my bare hands. To see hundreds of earthworms going about their buisness. To know the summer downpours will not kill the plants because the soil is so well-drained. Toads jump out of my way in the evenings. Bats and Swifts catch mosquitoes/moths on the wing. I've seen a Barred Owl sitting on my bean pole when I walk the dog at night.

When I moved here the the dirt was hard-packed red clay, and I had to seriously search for even a single earthworm! When it rained, the water would run down the slope like a small river. We have dug a small pond to attract frogs/toads. We now have tadpoles in every rain-catching bucket!

We need to teach good stewardship of our soil, or future generations will suffer the consequenses.

Thumbnail by HoneybeeNC
Click the image for an enlarged view.

docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 19, 2010
1:56 PM

Post #7903163

Only those who have done what you see in the last picture posted can possibly understand. That is a nice patch in the making. It looks so nice to me I can hardly believe it is only in its fourth year. Kudos to the maker and the creator too.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 19, 2010
3:35 PM

Post #7903476

Thanks, docgipe. Four years ago that patch was "Burmuda grass" hubby and I dug it out with a spade and a trowel!

Here's a view from the other side of the garden

Thumbnail by HoneybeeNC
Click the image for an enlarged view.

docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 19, 2010
5:22 PM

Post #7903678

You need not be ashamed of any part of that garden. I think I see a light but over all mulch. That is as good as hauling in manures where neighbors might not like the manure idea. LOL If you are not yet into cover crops in the fall plan to add another dimension to your fine gardening.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

June 19, 2010
10:01 PM

Post #7904308

Doc, I love you. I have to explain to my DH who docgipe is, oh yeah, the organic man. I have an extremely lush landscape, vegetable garden. hidden compost because it is not allowed in the planned development. I mulch on top of mulch. We are under watering restrictions and we have the water police. The water police would stop in front of my property after seeing all the lush green and just assumed I was using a whole bunch of water.
Now, they do not stop, just wave as they go by because my water use is very low because of my worms and all my mulch.

My family and my friends think my obsession with worms is over them top. Well when I find soil without worms, I know that soil is in trouble, thanks to docgipe, and I get my compost, worms and slimy food for my worms to eat and breed. We ROCK...

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 20, 2010
6:04 AM

Post #7904710

docpile - the mulch in the photos are leaves that hubby and I haul in from around the neighborhood in the fall. I can never understand why people throw them away - to me they are like gold!

I did put in some crimson clover the winter before last as a cover crop.

Last fall we planted lots of broccoli, collards, carrots, parsnips, and brussels sprouts. The parsnips and sprouts failed, but the others provided us all winter. There is also a permanent bed of asparagus and strawberries.

WormsloveSharon - we have so many earthworms, the local robins and some "mystery" critter drops by to dine on them. There are plenty to share.

The earthworms seem to shy away from my compost bins. Do you put worms in yours? I know there are two types of worms, and one is especially good for compost, but I have not purchased any. Any suggestions?
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 20, 2010
11:24 AM

Post #7905263

If you work your piles into higher heat the worms may not ever show unless you leave a pile sit until it cools. The first worms you find might just be at the edge of the pile where some of your goodness leaches off. Then too if you are using manures the stink worms or red worms that like manures are first to show. A lot of folks never leave the system work long enough to ever see the garden worms move in. Good worm sellers will tell you their red worms are not going to live in most garden soil. One instance where they might is where someone is constantly adding raw manures or unfinished compost to the garden.

You never need to purchase any worms. When your compost and or your soil is begining to be right they will just appear in the right type and number for your conditions. If someone in your family fishes you might seed in some of the Canadian Nightcrawlers or Nightwalkers. They are expensive at the boat houses. They take only a few years to be your prime supply right in your own backyard.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

June 20, 2010
8:41 PM

Post #7906557

Well, we had an abundance of Robins this year. They discovered my Koi pond waterfall and my worms. They were actually hilarious because I guess the best place to worm hunt is right by the garage area in the shaded area with the rose bushes and dicondra and another ground cover.

I was opening the garage door a few weeks ago and there she was. "Momma Robin". She was bitching at about 5 other robins. They were in the silver dichondra and something Jenny. They were dragging out as much as they could travel with when I came out the door. It was so precious. I do not care. Then they all stopped. I just stood there and disappeared because of no movement.

Then Momma started screaming and they all started moving very fast. They were pulling out my silver dicondra by the bushels. No problem. I have a bunch. Just another great moment in my landscape paradise for insects, birds and maybe you. Love you all.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

June 20, 2010
8:55 PM

Post #7906579

I also have these two wonderful hummingbird mothers. One is in front of my mother's old bedroom and one at the top of the stairs on the way to Vern's office. Well these wonderful mothers have a very strange way to get rid of you. When my husband went upstairs, when he passed the nest outside, seen from the stairs, , she would spray this milky spray all over the windows, two very large 10' by 8'. Both are "marked. I did not even know there was a nest by my mothers old bedroom until I went in there to set up my painting and then all of a sudden the West Windows were smeared with the same milky substance. But when I go out in the early evening and spray water over the landscape, they fly into the water droplets and have a very good time. My window washer called and I told him to hold off because the baby hummers were still in the area. Love of being a gardener. I saw this morning a hummingbird and a dragon fly fighting over the same fruit fly. I read that hummers need fruit flies so I have fruit rotting all over the landscape. But the battles are amazing. By the way, the hummer won. Love you all. GOOD NIGHT.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 21, 2010
8:32 AM

Post #7907343

Thanks for the worm advice, Sharon. I didn't know hummers would eat fruit flies. I'll have to start throwing some fruit around the garden to attract flies for them.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

July 10, 2010
8:43 PM

Post #7958795

I now have a hummer nest right above the entrance in to the front door. I had a young delivery man standing there yesterday and I said he might want to move because there was hummingbirds above his head. He said, "SO". I said look under your feet. He moved quickly. That is how I spot my hummingbird nests because of the babies tiny poop. This year we are over run with hummingbirds. I think the weird weather did it and a bunch did not move on to their final destination. But they are such a joy and they love my garden because of the gnats and the water and the flowers and then there are tiny flying bugs that come up in the greenbelt about 6pm and they all flock to them. And then settle in my mimosa tree and the pine trees next door. But both houses are covered in fig vines and hummingbirds love fig vines for their nests.
Salsadude
Baldwin City, KS

July 11, 2010
4:01 AM

Post #7959148

Last fall I put a lot of leaves on my garden and left them there over the winter. This spring, I rototilled them into the soil and planted various garden seeds. The corn growth, being very uneven in the same row for the same type of corn, suggests that my lazy mulching was not such a good plan. Another contributing factor, however, may have been the extremely wet spring and early summer we had.

Anybody have suggestions?

Salsadude
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

July 11, 2010
7:20 AM

Post #7959455

Yea Hoo...Kansas. The leaves should have gone in during your fall period with a bit of manure and compost to help decompose them. My guess your very hungry corn could not get enough nitrogen because the leaves were borrowing it for their decomposition. The decomposition is now attracting earth worms which will deliver their casts providing you are not using chemical fertilizers. This is a mistake most of us have made a time or two until we learned.

The good news is that if you add more leaves and more manure and compost tilled in this fall...followed with a cover crop you will be in super shape next spring. Rotate your corn and all crops if you can. Read up on Mycorrhizae Endo. This will always help you if you are not using man made fertilizers. You should condsider adding an organic fertilizer in a low number like 4-1-4 lightly on the first of each growing season while adding leaves in the spring.

VORTREKER

VORTREKER
POTTSBORO, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 11, 2010
6:37 PM

Post #7961176

sherriseden
I may have overlooked it but I could not find an answer on the forum to your original question but "yes" you can have a low nitrogen, low potash and a high phosphorus. In fact the majority of lawns and gardens have high phosphorus levels due to our past practices.
Many of the mass retailers are eliminating P from their combo fertilizers because of this.
Salsadude
Baldwin City, KS

July 12, 2010
8:52 AM

Post #7962442

Thanks docgipe. I will do a little more work this fall when the leaves start to fall--unless it turns really cold too soon.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

August 2, 2010
5:56 AM

Post #8012737

docgipe - I had read somewhere that horse manure is really good EXCEPT it may be from a horse recently wormed and the worming "medicine" kills the earthworms. Do you have any experience with this?

thanks,
Paul
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 2, 2010
6:09 PM

Post #8014301

Paul...My wife and I had horses for about ten years. We did regular worming. All of that manure and more came to our gardens in the fall. We always added as many leaves as we could till in and planted a cover crop of rye grass in the fall. In the very early spring we would add just a smattering of new raw manure when we did the spring tilling. We did this for continual soil building. Our organic content actually went up to seventeen percent by traditional testing records. Our worm counts increased dramatically while we maintained this program.

One bag of 10-10-10 and any other man made chemicals will kill those worms and in time nearly all the biological content of any soil. In fifty and more years of gardening I used very little man made chemicals on my plants and none placed directly into our gardens soils. Backyard and small acreage growers can and do grow organically if the really want to grow organically. Larger and larger growers and even some greenhouses are growing organically. The demand for good healthy food is increasing and no doubt will continue.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

August 3, 2010
2:46 PM

Post #8016191

Docpipe, that's really good news to me. Thank you!

We have a horse farm 2 miles away and I have a small trailer to haul some manure in. It is almost cool enough for me to take on hauling some manure. The leaves won't fall until Nov. here. There are always many worms that appear in the mulch anytime it rains for several days I have "hired hands" ready for me to deliver the leaves and manure.

Thank you again.
Paul
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 3, 2010
4:07 PM

Post #8016409

I live in suburbia. I bought a dandy trailer any car with a little beef can pull. My success with horse manure came about because I put it on and promptly tilled it in even if the leaves were not yet available. Sometimes I had leaves saved. Sometimes like right now I live in sight of the townships leaf piles. They are free for the taking. We just tilled some more when the leaves were available. Some would criticise this. I have always felt that tilling whooped in the oxygen that supported digestion so necessary to soil building more quickly. The smell factor is not worth the displeasure of a close neighbor. Tilling keeps the odors down. After a couple of years of building the organic content and getting all the texture adjusted you may slide right into permanent mulch and no till when the soil is ready to handle permanent mulches. I agree that tilling after the soil building years are completed is indeed damaging to a soil condition that is very well established and full of organic materials. Anything over five percent organic matrial is heading in the right direction. Seven percent is likely five percent better than most soil where I live. Soil conditions are commonly that bad. Most folks just do not know or do not admit it. Is it any wonder why good soil will deliver better food product as compaired to chemically grown food?

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Soil and Composting Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Clay poppysue 16 Oct 21, 2013 3:56 PM
Free compost, myth or truth JaiMarye 14 Oct 27, 2010 6:58 AM
Who Bakes Dirt 76summerwind 29 Apr 4, 2008 6:22 PM
sterilizing options tiG 22 Mar 29, 2008 7:47 PM
Soil & Fertilizer: Compost Tea SoCal 119 Mar 5, 2008 11:18 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America