Soil indicator plants

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by DJ-Studd, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    So matto here states
    Bracken, eastern Pteridium aquifolium accumilates K P Mn Fe Cu and others and on the same web here site it indicates low K low P and acid
    Very interesting - almost magic?
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    I always assumed the bracken/burn off/more bracken issue was something to do with the pH. Bracken will also act as a pioneer species for native regeneration, so I'm really curious as to what it does to the soil.

    Thanks for the info everyone, I'll have a good read through when I get the chance.

    And welcome Fozzie :) The increased manure knocking bracken back makes sense.
     
  3. Fozzie

    Fozzie Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks all for the welcome :) long time outlet first time poster!!

    I also ponder if maybe the plants/weeds that accumulate the nutrients that are unavailable to other plants... I admit the topic of locked minerals/ nutrients in soils is at this stage a bit over my head. But could some of the weeds "collect" some of the nutrients that are perhaps locked to other plants??

    (hoping the above makes sense... Tis a tired Saturday night for me!!)
     
  4. matto

    matto Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    And does bracken indicate a free draining soil ? ... maybe that goes hand in hand with low fertility. If so then adding organic matter will increase the soils ability in holding nutrients i guess.
     
  5. Susan Girard

    Susan Girard Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not sure where I go this info from I don't think it was an Australian article but weeds are often weed the world over so here goes;
    High Nutrient
    Lamb’s quarter (Chenopodium album)
    Plantain (Plantago major)
    Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
    Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
    Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
    Chickweed (Stellaria media)
    Rough pigweed (Aramanth family)
    Carpet weed (Mullugo verticillata)
    Clay
    Wild garlic (Allium vineale)
    Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
    Broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
    Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
    Plaintain (Plantago major)
    Sandy
    Sandbur (Cenchrus species)
    Dog fennel (Eupatorium capillidolium)
    Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
    Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
    Small nettle (Urtica urens)
    Arrow-leafed wild lettuce (Lactuca pulchella)
    Maltese thistle (Centaurea melitensis)
    Alkaline
    Field peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum) Goosefoot (Chenopodium species)
    Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale)
    True chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
    Bladder campion (Silene latifolia)
    Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
    Plaintain (Plantago major)
    Acid
    Ox-Eye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
    Curly dock (Rumex crispus)
    Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
    Sowthistles (Sonchus species)
    Prostrate knotweed (Polygonum aviculare)
    Lady’s thumb (Polygonum persicaria)
    Wild strawberries (Fragaria species)
    Plantain (Plantago major)
    Rough Cinquefoil (Potentlla monspeliensis)
    Silvery cinquefoil (Pontentilla argentea)
    Hawkweeds (Hieracium species)
    Knapweeds (Centaurea species)

    Interesting stuff...
     
  6. matto

    matto Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Tep, I know what you mean Fozzie, the first thing I heard about Permaculture was that they think weeds are a good thing, and have been wrapping that round my head for a while now.

    to quote Stuart Hill
    Also, Australian soils are generally low in phophorus. However Banksia, with their large seed heads, thrive in Australian soil. Mulching these into your compost, or directly around food trees, will give a ready supply of phosphorus. www.veryediblegardens.com/iveg/companion-planting-orchards say that they "fix" phosphorus but it isnt the same way as nitrogen plants work.

    Companion planting, especially for orchards, can not only include plants that help attract predator insects, but also plants that bring up nutrients from the subsoil, like comfrey does with its long, penetrating tap roots, ready to be chopped directly where it is needed, especially for new plants. As they decompose, the bacteria and soil biota process the organic matter into plant available nutrients.

    Locked minerals are more to do with pH. Most trace minerals are available around neutral pH,however become unavailable to plants when the soil is too far either side. https://www.thcfarmer.com/forums/at...on-visual-diagnosis-11083phnutrcombo2.gif.att will help you visualise this.
    Sometimes by adding too much dolomite (Mg and Ca) will lockup other nutrients such as those prevalent in slightly acidic soils, such as iron and copper.
    It can get all scientific after that, but to quote the great sage purplepear, When it comes to soils - what ever the question, the answer is "Organic Matter".

    Hopefully this clears the mud a little. LOL.
     
  7. Fozzie

    Fozzie Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Clears it up well Matto! I did think the locking up of nutrients was to do with the pH, but I did wonder!!

    In my veg garden now I have a great supply of dock, some oxalis and the standard grasses and clover with a smidge of chick weed, as well as other broadleaf plants. Which I've read have all indicated (well mainly the dock) acidic soils and good fertility/ high nitrogen, which I guess isn't such a bad indicator! Just annoying when the dock competes with the seedlings!!

    Also Matto... That's interesting about the addition of dolomite locking up the iron. I recently planted out a mandarine tree, with a handful or two of dolomite in the soil as the pH was pretty low. Now the leaves are showing signs of iron deficiency!

    I did ask my mum today who understands weeds/ soils far better than I. She said scotch thistles indicate a lack of calcium.
     

Share This Page

-->