I have written a series of posts that revolve around soil fertility, and so regular readers of the blog might think that another blog post is overkill. I hope not.
Last nights’ post, Crop Rotations, Soil Fertility, and Digging (part 2), looked at the amount of compost needed to grow the food to feed a couple. Even at the lower level there is still quite a lot of compost to make. I was a bit restless last night, and so stayed up late, feeding our wood burning stove. I was aware that wood ash contained minerals from the tree, but a comment by renowned Permaculture Author Patrick Whitefield, led me to check my facts. My discoveries are likely to lead to a considerable saving in work.
I’m using a wet day to take the time to commit to writing my thoughts on soil fertility and soil building.
I’ve not made a secret of my belief that the ‘digging is bad for the soil’ argument is too simplistic. I liken it to the way that you warn a child about fire by repeatedly saying ‘HOT’. Eventually your child will need to know how to make and use fire for themselves. In gardening terms the argument that digging is harmful is fine as a general warning, and for people who are happy not to delve deeper into soil and its’ workings, but once you have a decent knowledge of the subject it is possible to be more specific.
I have been reading books on Traditional Indian Agricultural practises, in order to improve the way that I maintain my soil fertility. Combining this knowledge, with what I already know, and what I’ve read about Chinese methods, should see another boost in fertility, and hopefully plant health. What I am learning, and the way that I am applying that knowledge is still developing, but there are some things that I can share now.
It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve got loads of things to write about now that the nights are getting longer, but thought that I would start with a short post about maintaining soil fertility. Some of you may have read a post that I wrote back in March, describing building a compost heap incorporating ideas/techniques culled from the book, Farmers of Forty Centuries. The post can be found by clicking this COMPOST link. I wanted to show you the results.