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is there a way to find out what are the associations of vegetables of
different families like brassicas and solanaceous? are they fungal or
bacterial? and is there a way, naturally by simply observation that you
will find out whether the balance in the soil foodweb? like when we see the
soil and smell earthy, it is more fungal in association, ya? see poor
farmers do have the dough for soil tests and things of that nature. a
working, guideline will be enough.
From: Elaine Ingham <Soilfoodweb@AOL.COM>
Reply-To: Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] Till/noTill
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 17:45:18 EDT
Hi Mike -
I guess I always like to explain WHY things work. If you don't understand
why, then you can get confused and do things that aren't helpful.
So, let's go back to the start - what is your purpose? You turn weeds in
get rid of them. Wouldn't it be better to not have those weeds in the
place? If you keep tilling, tilling, tilling, you will keep having weeds,
But did I just say to never till again? No. Don't leap to conclusions,
what I write.
You till when you HAVE TO till. So, if you have weeds right now, you till,
and please till before the weeds go to seed. But, now start doing the
necessary to make certain those weeds never come back.
Those things are: get a soil chemistry test done (you may have done this
already.) Look at the report. Any nutrients not balanced correctly? Go
read Albrecht, Kinsey, and Arden Anderson's books. Or chat with people who
know those folks. You have to balance Ca:Mg. Balance PO4 and K. The
biology can't help you if you don't have the nutrients.
But how do you hold onto those nutrients if you add them to the soil? They
just leach out again, if you don't have the right biology. So, do a soil
biology test. What is lacking? What is out of whack. I can bet that your
beneficial fungi are much too low. That the active fungi are hurting. The
protozoa are not present in adequate numbers to cycle nutrients for you.
likely have root feeding nematodes.
So, you have to fix those things. Compost or compost tea are the only ways
to add the things you are lacking. If you wait for Mother Nature to bring
those things back, you'll be playing with weeds for a long time. Once you
have the organisms back, you have to feed them properly. Cover crops are
good for doing this. But please put in the right cover crop to feed the
Out of time--- heading to Lismore today, have to go have breakfast on the
Hope this helps!
President, Soil Foodweb Inc.
SFI Oregon, USA
SFI New York
SFI New Zealand
"Hope is not a feeling. It is not the belief that things will turn out
but the conviction that what we are doing makes sense, no matter how things
turn out." -- Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic
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