--Newspaper, bark, wood chips, bark, pine needless,
leaves, grass clippings, nutshells, and weed mat.
*Feed the soil, not the plant
-Ready to Plan-
*Time of Year
--Determined by crops and crop placement
--Crops and crop placement also determined by irrigation
--Veggies in this area will bear under 30% shade
*Trellising or Staking
* Companion Planting
-Ready to Plant-
A Healthy Soil
Spiders and Mites
In a rich soil environment
up to 1 billion bacteria cells per 1 cubic centimeter.
Largest % of the total soil
1 gram of soil can contain as much as 50 meters
Produce single cell colonies
like bacteria,but also permeate the soil with mycelia.
Plant & Animals Residue
-Broken down by the macrofauna into pieces which are more
easily broken down by the microflora.
-The bacteria & fungi as they decompose the residue
by extracting the energy. This process releases nutrients and this residue
is known as humus.
-Humus is nitrogen enrich.
-Humus gives the soil its dark coloration.
-Humus helps sandy soil granulate-holds together better.
-Humus loosens clay soil.
-Humus allows for better air & water penetration which is great
-Humus provides a carbon energy supply that encourages beneficial
All This Activity
"During organic matter decomposition,soil organism
release nutrients from all these" "residue & makes them
available to the plant. Nutrients such as nitrogen,phosphorus, "
The small area immediately around the roots abound with 10 to even 100
microflora-than the area away from roots.
Beneficial Soil Bacteria & Fungus
-They can produce antibiotic which duppress soil pathogens
diseases such as phenols
-A proliferation of good bacterial & fungal microflora
able to suppress pathogens through
"antagonism,competition,predation." Mycorrhizae-Enhance root growth &
function which in turn aids overall plant growth.
They are threadlike hyphae of various fungus-Think
Of Them As Root Extenders.
-They penetrate the root tissues and surround the root
mass. From here they extend far into the surrounding soil. Soil Micropores-These mycorrhizae
can get into the smallest of pores between soil particles.
-Even the smallest of root hairs can't get into.
-They aid in the absoption of water & nutrients-especially
nitrogen & phosphourus.They consume & share these nutrients with
the roots of the host plant, which in turn share photosynthesized nutrients
such as sugars with the mycorrhizae fungus.
Methods for acquiring
a weed free area
*Hand weeding and spot spraying with organic herbicide
*Applying herbicide to entire area
*Sterilization by solarization heats the soil and kills diseases, weeds,
and fungus by using clear plastic to raise the temperature to 108-130 degrees
*Pre-emergents can be used after the sterilizing procedure to reduce new
weeds from popping up
Adding Amendments and nutrients
*Giving your soil organic matter is best, infertile soil
that has good physical properties can be made productive with a little help
*Leaves, manure, worm castings, and decaying matter provided by Bumper
crop, Pay dirt, Black Forest compost and our Eureka Planting
Mix are good choices. The humic acid provided by John and
Bob's soil optimizer is ideal for working hard infertile soil
*Adding pre-plant fertilizers is good to do when adding amendments and allows
it to break down and become available to the plant early
Work the soil how you see fit
*First time gardens will most likely need to be tilled
to loosen the soil and incorporate the amendments
*After the initial till, layering organic material will do the trick
*Having a no till policy will conserve the carbon in the soil, maintain
moisture, reduce wind and rain erosion and keep the soil biologicals happy
*Others prefer to till every season and add top soil
*Nice choices are small bark, newspaper, grass clippings,
rice hulls and nutshells and leaves
*Sawdust depletes nitrogen from the soil and becomes too compacted, pine
needles lower the pH
*adding these mulches retains moisture, suppresses weeds and gives the soil
something to chew on
Keep the soil happy in the off season
*Planting cover crops such as legumes keeps the soil active
*Legumes such as clover, bell beans, fava beans, and others fix nitrogen
in the soil
*Cover crops retain moisture, prevent erosion and add nutrients