Resusitating degraded soil. input required

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Krankieone, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Gonhar

    Gonhar Junior Member

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    I don't know about importing bacteria from other places.

    I prefer to keep the "landrace" bacteria who have had eons developing in response to their local environment.

    In Greening the Desert, Geoff Lawton doesn't mention importing bacteria, but he goes on in detail about feeding the soil with plenty of organic matter and water retention swales; the result was an explosion of local soil life including mushrooms!!
     
  2. ramdai

    ramdai Junior Member

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    oops, i talked about plowing slightly uphill to the ridges, but it should be uphill from the ridges so water rushing down the valley is diverted down to the drier ridges-
     
  3. ramdai

    ramdai Junior Member

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    Hi Gonhar, yes, i was wondering about that also, i heard about this alaskan thing from a couple people now, one woman was using it to grow medical marihuanna, but her results are a bit difficult to read because she was doing lots of different stuff.

    I don't think Dr. Ingham is directly endorsing that stuff, although the popularity it is enjoying may be an outgrowth of her research, her whole trip is targeting specific needs of specific soils and even specific crops... and i think i remember seeing one of Geoffs recent videos where he's using a compost tea bubbler, but i forget which one it was.

    I think in general i would be more inclined to just try and develop as much diversity in the microbes as i could, and then let them sort it out with the plant roots and soil conditions
     
  4. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I view microbes the same as biochar, one of the small tools in the Permaculture tool box. These tools are just tweekers to the main frame.
     
  5. ramdai

    ramdai Junior Member

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    Hi Rick,

    did you actually watch this video? or are you directly familiar with Dr.Inghams research to make an informed comment?

    if not, then you are simply echoing my thoughts before i became familiar with this research,, if you have seen this research and are still unimpressed i wish you would explain why.
     
  6. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I have watched a few of her videos, all quite enlightening. I have even thought to pay for her online course, but have other courses I want to accomplish first. You have created a strawman argument to type I am unimpressed. Might I direct you to the opening post asking for thaughts. These are my thaughts, most times they don't fit a person's neat concepts of how to think. But thats ok, I understand and do apologize.
     
  7. ramdai

    ramdai Junior Member

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    not exactly sure what you mean by strawman argument, and i apologize if i misread what you were writing, and if i said anything that offended.

    this is a new way of thinking about the soil and relationships between plants and microbes and it has reordered my priorities, and i'm trying to understand why it seems like innoculating the soil is not a more primary consideration at the beginning--certainly down the road when the system has been running for a while, microbes may only have a tweaking effect, but starting off fresh on degraded soil it would seem to have a pretty big bang for the buck

    I just went over to kelp4less and was looking at some of their microbial mixes and was wondering which one you used, you said you didn't notice any results?

    Maybe your compost is already such a high quality the additions aren't noticeable? What sorts of systems did you use it on?
     
  8. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Hugelkulturs. I used Myco+Trichoderma, Innoculant powder, and Pulvic and Humic blend.

    The point is all these additions need to have material to work with. This is where a proper Permaculture Design comes in to play, it will grow its own material. Geoff is going to build you up to understand all the relationships in his 72 hour course.

    Just to throw a wrench in the gears, do things right, what Geoff calls succession planting, and most of the design will attract all the bacteria and fungi necessary. You will begin to know where these other applications will benefit, and where it is nearly impossible to pass an energy audit in application.

    Oh, I have to tell this story I read some time ago. It was about a tribe of hunter gatherers where one member gets sick shortly after eating some berries. All members immediately think it is the berries that are posionous, even though they are not. Something else made her sick.

    One other thing, I very rarely am offended (anymore).
     
  9. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    www.heenandoherty.com are making their Keyline Plow available for dry hire in Victoria, they are based in Bendigo. Its part of their non-profit and if i re-call it was $120/day but you need to buy wombat points and maybe shin guards. This is to reduce thier cost on wearable parts, but if you are looking to do a three year Keyline soil conversion, then this is a good investment that could be sold on. They would know of other ploughs to hire around the state if your not close to Bendigo.

    This will be handy if compaction is an issue. Anything above 300psi and plant roots cannot grow. There is a simple measure you can make with the right guage wire to test, without buying a pentrometer. You can also look at the vegetation to see what it is indicating. Compaction indicates anaerobic soil layers where good aerobic microbes cannot live and do their job of aerating the soil and chelating minerals. The Keyline plough will help shatter compaction layers and aerate the soil to allow microbial life to flourish. Balanced water infiltration is a neat side effect.

    This, combined with effective grazing, by slasher or cows on free choice mineral will be the most cost effective way to regenerate soils on the broadacre. Have a look at HeenanDoherty's property and procedures. The are very sutle and cost effective. Great idea to get your ground work and water cycle happening through the soil before attempting major earthworks. The years of developing soils and seeing the keyline pattern applied to your place will help with your final design the overall network of trees and dams to continue improving the soil.

    The HD PDC starts on March 17th, and one of the best in the market as far as learning outcomes for designers https://heenandoherty.worldsecuresystems.com/events/hd-pdc-march-2014 Held at Dehesa Felix, near Bendigo
     
  10. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Matto's advice sounds on the money. But seriously a lot of all this other hoo haa really puts me off permaculture. If it is this complicated, detailed and work intensive and requires courses and videos and books and and and....I'm glad I'm not doing much of it. We must be genius. Apart from my 'food forest' and vegetable garden, our 120 acre property is thriving. We don't run much stock but our pastures are the hardiest and most diverse around and would be suitable for rotational grazing of many domestic animals should we ever go that way. So what have we done that sees our place thriving through 5 months with no rain and 45 degree temps year in year out, compared to our farming neighbours?

    Absolutely NOTHING. NOTHING. No earthworks, no microbes, no compost, no treatments, no irrigation. NOTHING.

    Depending on your climate where you are and how long your property has been 'degraded' for and what you want to actually do with it you may not need much of anything to initially get your ground covered and producing good pasture. Several years ago we made the mistake of leasing some of our place and sheep were grazed. We had trouble getting the sheep removed when they should have been and our paddock was reduced to pure sand with no organic matter, not a single blade of grass. That paddock was left ungrazed and within two years it was unrecognisable from the dust barren bare earth it had been. Treatment: NOTHING Seed will stay in the soil and blow in when you think there is no living thing left in the dirt. Microbes will colonise. Spores stay dormant for many many years waiting for the right conditions. Before you go mad trying to work out which of all this heavy stuff you want to impose on your landscape, wait and see what happens. You might be surprised. But too many people think nature is something we have to improve upon because we have a PDC we must know how to MANAGE and FIDDLE and IMPOSE upon what nature can often achieve given time and opportunity.
     
  11. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't be put off Permaculture! :shake: Remember, Permaculture is an ethical, holistic design science.

    All of the ideas floated in the previous posts are merely possible techniques to perhaps accelerate the rejuvenation of degraded soil. I also have a large area where I do nothing ... except observe the year-to-year succession of pioneer species and resulting increase of "lushness" in that area. It's amazing to watch.

    I also have a large area with existing fruit trees that I've done nothing to but mulch heavily. It has changed from essentially dust to a living, breathing soil with all kinds of earthworms and moisture and other activity and ... wait for it ... mushrooms! No inoculation, no seeding, nothing but mulch, mulch, and more mulch. These are some techniques that have been working for me in a semi-arid climate much as your techniques work/worked for you.

    Permaculture is not a recipe, nor a set of techniques. Each of us will do our due diligence by observation and apply those techniques that make sense to us based on what we've witnessed and perhaps what we'd like to try. Doing nothing is a valuable technique in many instances and watching nature recover with no interference is a wonderful thing to behold.
    ;)
     
  12. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    :clap:
     
  13. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I want to commend you, mouse, for a good post. Permaculture can be a bad word and there are many others that cover our differing styles of gardening, agriculture and whatever. People are getting caught up in the "tech" of it and are chasing diminishing gains. Gains are there to be had, of course, but you can change the landscape by doing nothing, or guiding little and still complete most of the required work. Disclaimer: truly degraded land needs something special, don't get me wrong.

    While your post is completely anecdotal and photos would have been great, you are completely right.

    Just by changing management styles can see positive gains in months and thanks for sharing your results with us. Below is a photo of me not mowing (or being targeted with my grass cutting) as much as the neighbour and planting approx 10 tubes, the properties looked similarly mowed at the start. No mulch here but a handful or two of grass clippings:

    [​IMG]

    Is that the first stage of unguided succession?
     
  14. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    yes, mouse, agreed 100%, i'd love to have that much land to let be.

    we have a lot of formal gardens so we can't "do nothing" if we want to eat, but each year the conditions of the soil in various gardens improves, diversity increases. i'm liking how it is going.

    i also have less formal or what i call wild gardens where i get to play. i'm adding more veggies into them and hoping they will self-perpetuate. as a backup food source. whatever i don't eat the worms and critters get.

    fiddling is human nature. we can incorporate our need for fiddling into the whole if we allow also enough room for the rest of the wild life and plants. i don't see humans as apart from nature, we just have to learn a bit more self-control and leave space for the rest of the world's creatures.
     
  15. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    You don't know what you are typing about. Permaculture is a Design of many designs.
     
  16. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Permaculture itself is a tool.

    Permaculture in itself is just a word to desribe a collection of methods documented by Bill Mollison (and I think David Holmgren, but I haven't studied his work yet) that can be implemented on the land to enhance food production and a means of living with little or no inputs from outside sources - such as energy, fertilizer, lumber, food, ect.

    Sure, the land will do fine without these methods, but Care of People will not be enhanced.
     
  17. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Before I signed up for the online PDC, I listened to this video. You can hear what Permaculture is right from Bill Mollison:

    [video=youtube;8slFPXkfOFw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8slFPXkfOFw&hd=1[/video]
     
  18. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Mouse has been here a long while and knows more then you think. Typing out she doesn't know what she is talking about, with regards to her own property is a bit rude & shocking.

    Mouse does do Permaculture, just not as complicated as the rest of us.
     
  19. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I am responding to this sentence: "Absolutely NOTHING. NOTHING. No earthworks, no microbes, no compost, no treatments, no irrigation. NOTHING."

    This is just not what I have been taught as to what Permaculture is. A person has to put in an effort, otherwise, there is no meaning to learning these designs.
     
  20. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Zone 5 comes to mind immediately. Existing wetlands also. I'm sure there are more.

    Much of Pc design strives to accelerate the restoration of soil, flora, and fauna. Applying appropriate techniques from the "hangars" within the Pc "wardrobe" are the effort you speak of.

    I will say that "what" you are responding to isn't an issue ... we can each have our own interpretations of Pc and how to apply it. "How" you responded is an issue. Please strive for a more gentle and understanding approach when you post. Challenging ideas (in a friendly way) is cool but belligerence directed at a fellow forum member is not.
     

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