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Showing posts from June, 2014

What grows green grass and Healthy Crops in Western Soils?

Often our western soils have a problem with many of the 42 essential elements of plant nutrition being inhibited by the alkaline chemistry of the soil.  This simply means that the elements such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, etc, etc, etc, are cemented into the matrix of the soil by way of a precipitation reaction called concretion.   This is where the term ‘Concrete’ comes from, where the mineral elements are not soluble with just water.  The process of getting these elements available for plant uptake requires a “solutioning” of the elements from the concreted soil, which is provided by the supramolecular chemistry of the organic matrix of humic molecules, and by the mycorrhizal fungi that are hopefully also present.    It’s one of the Mechanisms of Action for the Humic Molecules and the Mode of Action for the Mycorrhizal fungi.  Another limiting factor is the availability of nitrogen in the form of amino acids, caused by a slow or weak Soil Food Web.   The SFW is the Terrest

The Problem with Western Soils in Agriculture and in Urban Landscaping: Here's a Solution

The Problem with Western Soils in Agriculture and in Urban Landscaping:  Here's a Solution Water is a growing concern in the arid West and it's a problem that will never go away.   This paper addresses two situations that contraindicate the efficient use of water in both urban landscaping and in agriculture, particularly where irrigation is essential. Soil Compaction: The first problem I'll cover is the compaction of soil.  This prevents water from  penetrating to an adequate depth, allowing roots to also grow deep, therefore providing plants with a greater contact zone with soil, where water and element nutrients can be found and sequestered.  Compaction also causes a problem with roots rotting due to the soil being airless (anaerobic).  Like us, roots and the beneficial microbes of soil need oxygen in order to survive and function properly, so compacted soils limit the functionality of roots and all the beneficial soil microbes.  Soils can also be made an