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Re: [SANET-MG] nutrition in a bottle or a bag?

At 12:12 PM -0700 6/19/07, Edna Weigel wrote:
....While I'm not prepared to argue against small,
supplemental additions of depleted nutrients where needed, I'm a great
believer of adding organic matter (which often includes many needed
nutrients--this can include growing whatever cover crops will grow in the
depleted soil) and adjusting pH where it is acidic (which, I've read many
times, is exacerbated by chemical fertilizers) then allowing microbial life
to "unlock" the nutrients that are already there.

The most interesting work on soil fertility I've seen is a few short papers by Roland Bunch based on the work of Ana Primavesi. Basically, she describes the traditional approach to fertilization as the Nutrient Quantity Concept -- the notion that specific nutrients need to be supplied to plants in periodic large doses -- and proposes that in the tropics, the Nutrient Access Concept is more important. This is the notion that plants need constant access to tiny quantities of nutrients, best supplied by nurturing the soil biology and using sufficient compost and mulch.

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