Remineralizing soil - Use of stonemeal, (crusher dust)

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by izinoz, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Noni

    Noni Junior Member

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    Do you have any problems with soil compaction? Magnesium has the effect of sticking clay particles together. Calcium causes them to repel.

    In the 1940's Albrecht showed soils should generally have a Ca:Mg ratio of 7:1. The ratio of Ca:Mg for the following soils is generally ideal:
    Soil Type Ratio
    Montmorillinite 7:1
    Rhyolite 6:1
    Illilite 5:1

    Fungi is instrumental in holding calcium in the soil, they hold it within their biomass. This is a key reason why soil becomes compacted after tilling or ploughing, because the fungi is sliced and diced and calcium is leached the next time water is applied.

    If you do add calcium to your soil also consider how it is going to be held there, otherwise you could literally wash your money away.

    I wont babble on just in case your soil isn't compacted. However if you want to follow up on this line of thinking you are welcome to question me further.

    Cheers
    Noni
     
  2. petal

    petal Junior Member

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    We have built a house and the builders seemed to but extra effort in removing top soil or burying it. We had included in the the contract that the top soil should be retained, and reminded them of this before they started. It did not help. Anyway, we are planing on getting a soil test. My question is should we get the test done now, or import some topsoil first and then test?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Petal
     
  3. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    O bugger!
    Builders are Neanderthals. (sorry Neanderthals)
    get it tested as much as you can afford on top, and 12" below.
    AT LEAST test pH if you can't afford other tests.
    Tthen buy as many tonnes of organic matter as you can.
    You need to know if your soil is clayey or sandy
    Do this and we will go to the next step
     
  4. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I have been adding dolomite and left over cracker dust from my new shed pad, I have a ton and a half left to spread across our horse paddocks, we are doing it by hand which is hard work over 7 acres.

    The horses like the grass areas done which is good.
     
  5. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Remineralizing soil - Use of stonemeal, (crusher dust)

    Petal, I would do both. Have tests done on the native soil, and what you have brought in. As suspicious as I am (oh, really?), I would be tempted to get a sample of the soil you will be buying and have it tested BEFORE you buy it. Doing both, you'll know what you are dealing with.

    I don't know how things are done down there, but there are no regulations here on selling soil, potting soil, manures, etc. I've seen "topsoil" that was obviously subsoil from a hundred metres away. Take a close look, and it would be nice to watch them load it.

    On the other hand, you could be buying your own soil back! Here, the developers will skin off the topsoil and sell it to a dealer. Sometimes I think the world is made of nothing but people with criminal minds.... sigh. Then they run for office.

    Sue
     
  6. petal

    petal Junior Member

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    Re: Remineralizing soil - Use of stonemeal, (crusher dust)

    Thanks Michaelangelica and Sue. Will definitely test the existing soil and have a good look at any new soil. Then retest after 12 months to see how things have changed.
    The easy options for bulk organic matter here (North-East Melbourne, Oz) seem to be cow manure and mushroom compost. There is a nursery near by that has certified organic compost, but it doesn't look like home made compost and includes fine wood chips. Hopefully the results of the soil test will help workout which is best for our soil. The pre-building soil description was:
    - fill, silt, dry-moist, loose, dark brown grey to .25 - 0.3 m
    - sandy silt, dry-moist, medium dense, grey to 0.65 m
    - sandy clay, dry moist, firm-stiff, orange-brown, mottled red to tested depth of 1.5 m
    The top layers now have various amounts of mixing and depths.

    Sounds like it may be best to concentrate on adding organic matter, and soil amendments recommended by the soil test, and avoid new soil if possible.

    Thanks everybody for a great forum.

    Cheers,
    Petal
     
  7. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Remineralizing soil - Use of stonemeal, (crusher dust)

    Personally, I would go with the cow manure.

    I bought a load of 6 cubic metres of "mushroom compost", and it was absolute garbage. I won't touch any more of it even with a stick. Later, I was told that what is sold as mushroom compost is totally spent compost, very few nutrients left in it. That's why they're unloading it onto unsuspecting gardeners.

    My mushroom compost: practically everything I planted in it died; weeds wouldn't grow in it; worms ran away from it. The first thing that sprouted in it two years later was Poison Hemlock (Conium) which I have never had on my property before this.

    Sue
     

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