Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Soil Feedings

So kelp meal and fish emulsion (or fish whatever) is all you use to fertilize, John? Is that true of your veggies also? Martha

I have used neither in years, though when I first moved in a decade ago I applied copious
amounts of menhaden fish meal, kelp meal, dolomite plus many many loads of horse poop and chipped tree mulch to transform the dry weedy sand that my lot was back then. Now I mainly pee all over the yard, use my kitchen graywater with all the food scraps in it, let the free range chickens fertilize the "compost path" that creates the soil for my potted plants, bring in horse poop now and then, use garden soil in my litter box and throw the soiled soil around my bananas, and a few years ago I bought several torn bags of Sunniland Palm 8-6-6 and flung it all over as a "tonic". About 5 years ago I bought a few bags of feed grade mono-calcium phosphate and flung it all over to raise my phosphorus levels. I think most of my soil fertility now comes from my habitual sheet composting (the stalks of "Bolivian Sunflower" (Tithonia diversifolia) can have as much phosphorus as raw phosphate rock!) and my reliance on nitrogen fixers like Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) and Vigna unguiculata that thrive each summer into fall. Since I eat a rich, mostly healthy diet I try to pee all over as human urine is a great source of nitrogen, vitamins and minerals for the soil. I am now piling up all my freeze damage cutback stuff along the back fence lines where my citrus and bananas and fruit trees plus my true yams (Dioscorea species) grow to decay and feed those plants this summer. I now very rarely buy any actual soil foods as I feel I have a sustainable nutritional base here. John

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