On Fri, 9 Sep 2016 08:20:08 -0400, songbird wrote:
It's more of a science project than a commercial venture.
For example, I found out that mixing in baking flour might not be the best
solution because it has a lot of amylopectin, which, I'm told, will just
form a hard "clay" like substance in the soil.
I do plan on mixing in some bottom-of-the-pile wood-chip detritus and maybe
even some under-oak leaf rakings, which, I'm told, will contain zillions of
fibers from fungi, which help by allowing better water penetration and
adsorption (on the fungi fibers) and with good bacterial action (such as
I might even throw in some Guadalupe manure from San Jose residents' poop,
but it might be easier to use non-coal wood-original charcoal ground up to
add to the existing "dirt" to make my own "terra preta":
Apparently charcoal has an immense surface area, acres of surface area, in
fact, in a single handful of soil (I'm told), which aids in the adsorption
of water and associated dissolved nutrients.
In addition, I'm told, I can add calcium carbonate, which also helps in the
adsorption of moisture in this otherwise dry soil.
Of course, considering what I'm starting with, it won't be easy by any
means, but, it should be doable if I think it all the way through.
Here is the "rock" I'm starting with, before it weathers to "stone" and
then eventually layers into "soil" before I displaced into my "dirt"...
On Fri, 9 Sep 2016 10:02:45 -0700 (PDT), Cindy Hamilton wrote:
I belatedly agree wholeheartedly with you.
The flour will basically turn the soil to "stone".
I have worked with some of the locals to come up with a "plan" to convert
the soil into home-made potting soil.
This is what we start with, which is 30-million year old beds of sediment
from the ocean bottom which have been shoved onto the continent via the
wonders of plate tectonics:
I can dig a thousand foot hole, and it would still be "this stuff":
So I dig it out of the ravines, where it collects as "top soil":
Given that organics are so powerful (complex, but powerful), my new plan is
to add fungus-filled leaf rakings from either underneath the oak trees or
at the bottom of the wood-chip piles dotting my yard everywhere:
I may even burn some of this spare wood "chunks" into charcoal, which
apparently has "acres" of surface area per handful!
That way, I can make my own "terra preta":
In addition, I'm told, I can add calcium via some of my readily available
pool chemicals, which also helps in the adsorption of moisture in this
otherwise dry soil.
And, of course, I'm gonna need "fertilizer" of some sort.
Already two of the neighbors said I can have all the manure off their goat
and alpaca filled property that I can handle!
The garden area is tiny. Maybe forty feet by fifteen feet is fenced off
from the critters. But right now, we're just using five-gallon buckets of
Costco detergent pails. :)
The flour was for adding "organics" but it fails upon closer inspection.
Again, I have 50 pound bags of flour that the wife uses for baking.
I guess I could use sugar. She has 25 pound bags of that stuff too.
She's mad at me because she planted her "babies" in that planter and
nothing came of it. She cares very much about all her babies!
If I wanted to teach the kids I would fill several of the 5 gallon bucket
with his dirt then...
#1. plant seeds, water regularly
#2. plant seeds, sprinkle a little time release fertilizer on top, water
#3. stir in peat moss, plant seeds, water regularly
#4. same as #3 + time release fertilizer
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