Supplying biology to soil without airation or cultivation

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by DJ-Studd, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Many Indian farmers are too poor to buy fertilisers so they use sugar as a fertiliser and say it works just as well as expensive chemicals.
     
  2. SueUSA

    SueUSA Junior Member

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  3. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Thanks everybody for all the pointers thus far.



    I've done my PDC on the property, but it's a longer term plan as opposed to an intermediate plan for 'nature to do the work'.

    Yep, I'm planning on starting to dig some swales in the next month or so. I have access to a skid steer (bobcat) on weekends so I'm fortunate there. Won't be digging any dams with it, but great for swaling etc.

    Doubt there is anywhere to hire a yeoman's plough in the area plus they're about $14k, so I've a bit of saving to do! :(


    My thoughts of baling was so that I can concentrate the organic matter in one spot to commence intensive vegetable garden and orchard soil production. I would not intend on exporting the organic matter from the site. I'll think about this, depends on cost!

    Re the PDC, unfortunately an 80 course does not provide an intensive soil biology workshop! I suppose my main reason for questioning is that I don't want my newly spread biota to just wash away if I can't open the soil up first.


    Thank you for that link, I have not seen that video yet.

    Molasses is used to feed the bacteria, so I can see this working providing there is sufficient bacteria in the soil to begin with. I can tell you now, without performing any laboratory analysis, that there is next to no bacteria my soil in question! :sweat:
     
  4. barefootrim

    barefootrim Junior Member

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    Dear DJ Studd,

    the 160 acre man, you can only do one thing at a time , it would be my advice to you to just do the first thing in front of you at the time,,,looking at 160 acres and seeing everything you may have top do over the years i a bit daunting,,,

    back to the original question of paddock welfare and spreading biology without tractor implements or non inversion tillage etc,,,, I did a plan for a guy west of Parkes in NSW who did not have much capital,,,we called it the "kick over 44 gallon drum plan" ,,,, we set up a worm farm on his place about the size of a queen size bed or a bit more,,,covered with heshion bags,,, and collected all the run off of vermicast solution,,,,when we got about 20 litres we popped it in a 44 gallon drum and topped the rest up with water,,,,went to a nominated place on the property then kicked the drum over and watched all the stuff roll out,,,,, when we got another drum going a week later we went to the same place but moved 20 yards over from the first 44 drum kick over place,,,and so on and so forth.

    if you have a few cows or horses you can do the same thing by putting hay out in a feeder in one place,,,alllow some manure to collect around the hay feeder,,,then drop some compost worms and perenial pasture seed down in that spot,,,then move the hay feeder 30 /40 yards away and do the same again,,(try moving the hay feeder on contour and see what happens),,,,you will cover 160 acres doing that in no time really,,,

    also on geoff lawtons soils dvd he gives a mineral supplement feed recipe (quantity for one cow) ---- that feed regime will have all the minerals and stuff in it for soils (and the cow),,,so the manure will provide a homeopathic innoculation of all soil minerals and good stuff to slowly adjust any deficiencies or over supply that may be in your soil .

    Dude, this is all Mr Holmgren's principle number 9 stuff --- use small and slow solutions -- fukokoa (? SPELLING) used daikon radishes and took a few years to do it,,,,, theres no reason why you cant do it also even in shorter time,

    using a keyline plow with worm juice or compost tea gets 1000 acres done in a few days,,,you'll just take a bit longer is all ,,,

    I fully recommend the kick over drum method,,,,does wonders

    All the best, have fun on the bobcat dude,
     
  5. Curramore1

    Curramore1 Junior Member

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    A bit more info needed for a useful response.

    Hello all,
    Please supply a bit more info for an informed response. Soil type, elevation, rainfall, Summer and winter max/mins, topography, topsoil depth, pH,current vegetation cover, grazing/cropping regime, soil N,P,K and micronutrient levels. What are the neighbours doing? Any info may help in suggesting some soil amelioration plans.
    As an example of a technique described in my GGGF's diaries in the 1880's in semi arid NSW for an increase in soil fertility and particularly soil organic matter (not worded that way at all) was to graze the sheep, pigs and goats on the common land during the day and to fold them each night to protect them from predation and to manure the soil for planting in the growing season. GGGF notes that the animals were grazed on land outside his own where possible to glean nutrients for free. This would work well for a future market garden if you lived on site by concentrating the nutrients from the remainder of the farm for your veg. garden.
    As a complete aside, other than that, if the macronutrients N, P and K, are sufficiently available in plant available form, along with a plethora of microorganisms to convert organic nutrients to plant available inorganic nutrients, plus the right combo of micronutrients and trace elements in the favourable soil pH, soil temperature and moisture ranges you should progress.
    Don't reinvent the wheel. Talk to your neighbours, Dpt Ag, market gardeners and other local old folk in general. Cheers and I wish you much joy in growing with your soil.
     
  6. xray

    xray Junior Member

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    Many years ago,facing the same compacted (cattle property) soil structure,
    we quickly realized that the massey ferguson 35 would not even drop a single tine ripper to the bar,let alone a chistel plow.
    We hired a contractor who turned up with a massive 4WD, ripped and chistled many acres in one day.
    The resultant aeration and light along with some BD500 spray gave the tilled soil new life in short time,
    compared to adjacent soil that was not worked.
    We were able to then handle cropping with the small machine.
    Money well spent.
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I really reccommend you read 'The One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka.
    I got my copy through the book depository in England.
    It is availble online at an online library-sorry cant remember the name of it; it will help if you are on broadband rather than dialup or you could run into the same problem I had with my computer freezing mid page.

    The book goes over how he farmed citrus and grain on his farm in Japan and how he improved the quality of the soil by not digging it over, by not fertilizing it with chemicals and got the same or greater volume of produce as modern chemical/ploughed farms were producing.
     
  8. Raymondo

    Raymondo Junior Member

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    Overwhelmed with advice? Please allow me to add my two cents worth. If you're planning on cell grazing, then start cell grazing. Moving the grazers through the (appropriate sized) paddocks will improve things on a large scale more effectively, and possibly more cheaply, that you can. I've seen it here on a friends property. They bought a smallish grazing property that was tired and a little run down. They shrank the paddock size and started rotating cattle and sheep through. Now, just five years or so on their place looks terrific, especially if you stand by their boundary and compare the neighbour's place with theirs. Their fields stay greener much longer than their neighbour's does during dry spells which implies much better water retention.
    Just a thought.
     
  9. barefootrim

    barefootrim Junior Member

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    Dear Mr DjStudd,

    you got plenty of options in the threads above,

    stock rotation / cell grazing, worm juice, compost tea, keyline , swales, making a plan, hay feeder rotation, broardscale radishes , slashing for mulch,,,etc ,, one writer even suggests call the Dept of Ag,,,eeek!,,, I think they have damaged about every piece of land they have laid their hands on for the most part,,, you got plenty to start with before going anywhere near those characters,

    best of luck
     
  10. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Sugar feeds the bacteia doesn't it... the bacteria breaks already present food into a plant available form...?
     
  11. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    This has quickly exploded into a great thread full of healthy information.

    I won't spend the time replying individually at this very moment, but thanks for all of the suggestions.

    I think that I'm going to begin by purchasing a decent mulcher/chipper and producing some (hopefully) high quality compost. Compost tea in the back of the ute and I'll start spraying. I can't put any livestock on the property yet as I am not living there, but as soon as I do I will commence cell grazing (solar electric fence, cheap solution!). A tractor and Yeoman's are on the books also down the track, but hopefully the above will be a good start and a fair whack better than leaving the land sit idle.

    Worst thing I'll have done is wasted my time in creating the tea and spreading it, best thing I'll have done is created a bunch of compost :)
     

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