Permaculture forum→Remineralizing Soil

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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 20, 2015 9:30 AM CST
I think the highest nutrient densities of soil happen when organics are varied and recycled. Lawn grasses are usually mowed, and often the cut grass is removed rather than allowed to replenish the soil. Also, if the grass is treated with pesticides, that means no soil microbes. Also ornamentals are pruned and hauled away, instead of being recycled to the soil. i know trying to grow vegetables on soil that formerly had lawn, requires a lot of replenishment.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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DogsNDaylilies
Aug 22, 2015 11:30 AM CST
@hazelnut - that's good to know about the vegetables on former lawn soil. I'll have to keep that in mind going forward. Smiling

Here at our house we have begun bagging our clippings because after not doing it for a year or two, our lawn was getting so congested with thatch that even after paying someone to de-thatch our yard, it was still really bad. Part of our problem, though, is that we have compacted, clay-like soil-ugh! Sighing!

Next year, hopefully, we're going to bring in a truck or two of dirt again before we dig up where we're going to plant our row of blueberry bushes. Our yard really is a work in progress and soil nutrient information is definitely something I'm trying to get a better grasp of.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 22, 2015 2:12 PM CST
I wonder if using dried molasses on your lawn might help the microbes break down the grass clippings easier. DD in SE MI has very thick lawn grass in the sunny parts. She lives in an old remodeled farmhouse. Once summer comes, you can't dig in her yard. In the shady parts, it's all maple trees and grass is very thin and the ground hard with all of the tree roots. I have silt over clay here and we only bag in the fall when the oak leaves start falling. We do leave some shredded leaves for the lawn but not too many. You might want to look into either raised beds or hugel beds for veggies. Reid did a really neat job on a raised hugel bed.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Aug 22, 2015 3:11 PM CST
Composting from your yard and recycling is all good. I was redding more of that book...finally had time...

He says that if you are adding local compost from your yard, the green material has the same nutrients in your soul. I four soil is imbalanced, you are further imbalancing your soul. The author used this method, and his health really deteriorated due to soil that was lacking minerals and was imbalanced.

Hope I'm not sounding preachy. Just saying what I read in"The Intelligent Gardener". It is correcting a lot of my former beliefs.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 22, 2015 3:27 PM CST
Thanks, Reid, for posting that. What you said makes sense to me. Guess I'll finally have to break down and have a soil test done. I think I'll invest in the book myself and read up on it.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 23, 2015 9:47 AM CST
We are talking here about at least two characteristics of soil: its tilth, and its productivity. For productivity you need nutrients. and minerals are nearly always depleted. Tilth refers to the structure of the soil. And most soils need organic matter to improve the soil structure--especially clay soils that can develop a rock-like hardness without a good organic composition. I would never put any organic matter in the trash to be hauled away unless it was contaminated. If you have no immediate use for it, you can store it behind some bushes. By spring it will be compost, and you will be glad you had the foresight not to dispose of it. You may need to add nutrients such as rock powder as well.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 23, 2015 10:03 AM CST
None of my organic matter goes out in the trash. Between worm bins and a compost pile, nothing goes out in the trash except meat scraps. My fall leaves get shredded on the lawn and popped into large garbage bags to become mulch the following spring. I only use a little fertilizer when planting out vegetables and other new plants. Because I live in a wooded area and not on a subdivided corn field, I am curious how the soil composition compares.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 23, 2015 11:34 AM CST
you should have great soil.


Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 23, 2015 12:45 PM CST
I've only gotten as far as identifying my soil type - silt/loam over clay or something akin to Miami soil. Tried briefly last week to see what the mineral composition might be but so far have only found surveys from 1970 with information that only a geologist would understand.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 24, 2015 2:13 PM CST
Dogs -- You might browse the threads on hugelkulture here. Hugelkulture beds are a great way to deal with clay soil.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 25, 2015 8:59 AM CST
I obtained a copy of "The Intelligent Gardener" and just started reading it. I think I'm in for some studyin'. It did raise a question though. I do some vegetable-growing in pots due to limited space. Normally, I use ProMix, some type of compost, perlite and an organic vegetable fertilizer. What's a cost effective way to get any minerals into the mix? I can see that for me, having several bags of mineral amendments for growing in pots might be a tad overwhelming. Is there a pre-made blend that would work well for that application?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 25, 2015 10:08 AM CST
In retrospect on my last post, I'm guessing I'm over-thinking the mineralization of potting soil. Most of my pots are only active during the growing season and the soil (which I save) is always amended at the beginning of the following year. Dr. Earth vegetable fertilizer does contain some of the majors (other than the obvious NPK) and, with some worm compost thrown in, should suit for my 5-month season.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 25, 2015 1:12 PM CST
I used to have a green house. I used pro-mix, plus perlite, peat, plus bone meal. I mixed the soil up in a huge garbage can, and just scooped the mixed soil from there.

Those were for plants that I expected would go in the ground after maturing in the green house.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 25, 2015 1:45 PM CST
I usually keep all of my amendments in my little hobby GH and custom mix as I need to. Never thought about adding bone meal to the mix. I do usually add some fertilizer depending on the plant.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 30, 2015 7:56 AM CST
Here's a new soil article by Mercola. http://articles.mercola.com/si...

Intergrate animals. I truly enjoyed my rabbits. They use a lot of hay, so the residual is a combo of hay and rabbit poop. I still have a lot of rabbit compost, even though its been a few years since my last rabbit died. Their life expectancy is usually listed at about 4 years, but Henry--a Belgian Giant--lived to be about 20. I would have continued, but rabbits need a cool place to live. They cannot thrive in the heat. They don't seem to mind the cold--at least here in Alabama--the lowest temperature is usually around 20 for a few days. Also, they are social, and a lone rabbit is not as happy as a rabbit with a family. Males will fight, though. They need a source of high quality hay--timothy hay. They will burrow into it to keep warm in winter. They need a roomy cage--which is not hard to make out of fencing wire and clips you can get at the co-op. They need to be protected from predators. A wandering dog can tip over their cage. Dogs and little boys are their main antagonists.
They are endlessly entertaining. They love to listen to your troubles, and concentrate intensely on what you are saying--things you wouldn't dare tell a human.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2015 8:31 AM CST
Integrating animals can be a great way to improve soil quality. I think if I could, I would do chickens but that would involve building a chicken holding facility - whether a coop or a tractor - and some looking-after. At this point in my life, having had a dog, cats, fish, birds, I like the freedom of not having to look after pets. In my neck of the woods, we have lots of racoons, coyotes, an occasional red fox, various hawks. Maybe in a different location, I might be tempted. For now, I'll stick with my worms.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 30, 2015 3:04 PM CST
predators can be devastating for chickens. My friend just lost her daughter's favorite speckled rooster to a hawk. And with bird flu around, I can see cutting back on the animals. Couldn't do without my dogs though. They tell me when prowlers are around. And I have ferrell cats. there is no telling them to go away.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Sep 24, 2015 8:04 AM CST
Hmm - I just finished an initial reading of "The Intelligent Gardener". I admit that, at times, my eyes glazed over a bit. What I'm having a hard time with is how to integrate the benefit of remineralizing with permaculture concepts. While I get the concept of mulching with what you grow to return nutrients to the soil and that compost is not a cure-all for mineral deficiency, is the compromise doing an initial remineralization before planting and then doing subsequent side-dressing?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Dec 5, 2015 5:17 PM CST
I finally broke down and did a soil test. Received the results via email in less than a week. Trying to find the time to sit down and re-read "The Intelligent Gardener" so that I can formulate a plan. I did receive a daily email from permies.com and there was a link to a spreadsheet that one can plug in test results and it will generate a plan. Hoping to try it out soon if I can find time amid the holiday rush.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Dec 9, 2015 9:44 AM CST
Good luck, Shade Gardener, managing the holiday rush. I dont have family here and no Christmas plans. But still Im overwhelmed!

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