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Re: Straw Bale Gardening

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  • Barbara Roemer
    Tomatoes, 26 of em, are growing wildly in 13 bales hollowed out with an old chain saw. We hauled the bales into a rocky clay edge of the fenced garden, left
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 1, 2009
      Tomatoes, 26 of 'em, are growing wildly in 13 bales hollowed out with an old
      chain saw. We hauled the bales into a rocky clay edge of the fenced
      garden, left a 3" border of bale intact around the center hole, sprinkled in
      a little bat guano, added worm castings and some soil, planted and then
      mulched heavily with the chaff from the chain saw massacre. The decomposing
      bales, aided by watering and nitrogen in the guano, warmed up the soil above
      and gave the tomatoes a jump start. Because we plan to make more permanent
      beds on the spot, we used alfalfa ( contains high nitrogen and a growth
      stimulator), but plants are also doing well in the 3 year old remains of a
      rice straw greenhouse. Only caution is, the soil will be too hot if you use
      much nitrogen beneath it because alfalfa, being nitrogen-rich, decomposes at
      a fairly high temperature. Lots of watering but no water boarding here.

      Barbara Roemer


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Barbara Roemer
      Tomatoes, 26 of em, are growing wildly in 13 bales hollowed out with an old chain saw. We dragged the bales into a rocky clay edge of the fenced garden, left
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 1, 2009
        Tomatoes, 26 of 'em, are growing wildly in 13 bales hollowed out with an old
        chain saw. We dragged the bales into a rocky clay edge of the fenced
        garden, left a 3" border of bale intact around the center hole, sprinkled in
        a little bat guano, added worm castings and some soil, planted and then
        mulched heavily with the chaff from the chain saw massacre. The decomposing
        bales, aided by watering and nitrogen in the guano, warmed up the soil above
        and gave the tomatoes a jump start. Because we plan to make more permanent
        beds on the spot, we used alfalfa ( contains high nitrogen and a growth
        stimulator), but plants are also doing well in the 3 year old remains of a
        rice straw greenhouse. Only caution is, the soil will be too hot if you use
        much nitrogen beneath it because alfalfa, being nitrogen-rich, decomposes at
        a fairly high temperature. Now if getting a bale building up were as easy
        as yarding out the bales to make planters....

        Lots of watering but no water boarding here.

        Barbara Roemer


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jimmie R Davis
        My main problem is Deer. They eat everything I try to plant. On the other hand I looked out my kitchen window the other morning, and a doe was nursing her
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 1, 2009
          My main problem is Deer. They eat everything I try to plant. On the other hand I looked out my kitchen window the other morning, and a doe was nursing her fawn fifty feet from my back door.
          Nadine

          .At 01:58 PM 7/1/2009, you wrote:


          >Tomatoes, 26 of 'em, are growing wildly in 13 bales hollowed out with an old
          >chain saw. We dragged the bales into a rocky clay edge of the fenced
          >garden, left a 3" border of bale intact around the center hole, sprinkled in
          >a little bat guano, added worm castings and some soil, planted and then
          >mulched heavily with the chaff from the chain saw massacre. The decomposing
          >bales, aided by watering and nitrogen in the guano, warmed up the soil above
          >and gave the tomatoes a jump start. Because we plan to make more permanent
          >beds on the spot, we used alfalfa ( contains high nitrogen and a growth
          >stimulator), but plants are also doing well in the 3 year old remains of a
          >rice straw greenhouse. Only caution is, the soil will be too hot if you use
          >much nitrogen beneath it because alfalfa, being nitrogen-rich, decomposes at
          >a fairly high temperature. Now if getting a bale building up were as easy
          >as yarding out the bales to make planters....
          >
          >Lots of watering but no water boarding here.
          >
          >Barbara Roemer
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Chris Green
          ... Ooow, I m getting hungry just reading that... ... stimulator)
          Message 4 of 26 , Jul 2, 2009
            --- On Wed, 7/1/09, Barbara Roemer <roemiller4@...> wrote:


            >Tomatoes, 26 of 'em, are growing wildly in 13 bales<

            Ooow, I'm getting hungry just reading that...

            >...we used alfalfa ( contains high nitrogen and a growth

            stimulator)<

            I knew about the Nitrogen, but didn't know that it has a growth stimulator-- I think I'll add some to my compost bin ASAP to make it cook faster. The growth stimulator should help the garden work better next year.

            Thanks.,


            Cheers,

            Chris Green.


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          • Darcy Goodrich
            I m curious - what is the growth stimulator in Alfalfa?  Darcy Goodrich www.purecountry.ca ________________________________
            Message 5 of 26 , Jul 2, 2009
              I'm curious - what is the growth stimulator in Alfalfa?
               Darcy Goodrich
              www.purecountry.ca
              ________________________________


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              Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Nancy or David Gray
              I agree it is interesting to hear of a growth stimulator.  I would note that nitrogen itself is a pretty good growth stimulator, and alfalfa bales run into
              Message 6 of 26 , Jul 2, 2009
                I agree it is interesting to hear of a growth stimulator.  I would note that nitrogen itself is a pretty good growth stimulator, and alfalfa bales run into the double digits in nitrogen percentage. 

                --- On Thu, 7/2/09, Chris Green <pojeros@...> wrote:

                From: Chris Green <pojeros@...>
                Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening
                To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, July 2, 2009, 1:50 AM





















                --- On Wed, 7/1/09, Barbara Roemer <roemiller4@gmail. com> wrote:



                >Tomatoes, 26 of 'em, are growing wildly in 13 bales<



                Ooow, I'm getting hungry just reading that...



                >...we used alfalfa ( contains high nitrogen and a growth



                stimulator)<



                I knew about the Nitrogen, but didn't know that it has a growth stimulator-- I think I'll add some to my compost bin ASAP to make it cook faster. The growth stimulator should help the garden work better next year.



                Thanks.,



                Cheers,



                Chris Green.



                ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

                Be smarter than spam. See how smart SpamGuard is at giving junk email the boot with the All-new Yahoo! Mail. Click on Options in Mail and switch to New Mail today or register for free at http://mail. yahoo.ca




























                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Caralee
                The growth stimulator in alfalfa is triacontanol. You can do a search for it to find out its chemistry/action, but that s what is in alfalfa--as well as many
                Message 7 of 26 , Jul 2, 2009
                  The growth stimulator in alfalfa is triacontanol. You can do a search for it to find out its chemistry/action, but that's what is in alfalfa--as well as many other wonderful things for your garden. There are organic fertilizers made with alfalfa meal, and they are great to use for upping nitrogen and more.

                  A wonderful website to visit for every possible (or just about) question regarding organic gardening is www.dirtdoctor.com. The bottom line is always in building the soil to provide the right foundation for healthy plants. Also it discusses all kinds of other non-toxic approaches to life and health (insect/flea control, nutrition, etc., etc.)
                  Caralee Woods
                  Kanab, UT
                  www.builtbyhandstrawbale.com

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Darcy Goodrich
                  To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 7:37 AM
                  Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening





                  I'm curious - what is the growth stimulator in Alfalfa?
                  Darcy Goodrich
                  www.purecountry.ca
                  ________________________________


                  .



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Nancy or David Gray
                  Oh boy, another -ol type activator.  Never heard of it, but happy to learn.   When I used to haul hay I had access to broken and otherwise spoiled alfalfa
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jul 2, 2009
                    Oh boy, another -ol type activator.  Never heard of it, but happy to learn.   When I used to haul hay I had access to broken and otherwise spoiled alfalfa bales and the farmers were happy to have me clean them up.  I spread them as a deep mulch to overwinter on the garden and I can say I never had such tall Country Gentleman sweet corn, among other winners.  I kind of miss those days.  I still have good gardens, but it is more a compost, bell beans sort of enterprise.  The alfalfa was hands down knockout stuff. 

                    --- On Thu, 7/2/09, Caralee <cgwoods@...> wrote:

                    From: Caralee <cgwoods@...>
                    Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening what's in alfalfa
                    To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thursday, July 2, 2009, 10:46 AM

















                    The growth stimulator in alfalfa is triacontanol. You can do a search for it to find out its chemistry/action, but that's what is in alfalfa--as well as many other wonderful things for your garden. There are organic fertilizers made with alfalfa meal, and they are great to use for upping nitrogen and more.



                    A wonderful website to visit for every possible (or just about) question regarding organic gardening is www.dirtdoctor. com. The bottom line is always in building the soil to provide the right foundation for healthy plants. Also it discusses all kinds of other non-toxic approaches to life and health (insect/flea control, nutrition, etc., etc.)

                    Caralee Woods

                    Kanab, UT

                    www.builtbyhandstra wbale.com



                    ----- Original Message -----

                    From: Darcy Goodrich

                    To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups .com

                    Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 7:37 AM

                    Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening



                    I'm curious - what is the growth stimulator in Alfalfa?

                    Darcy Goodrich

                    www.purecountry. ca

                    ____________ _________ _________ __



                    .



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




























                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Chris Green
                    ... Thanks for that. Another potential growth stimulator is in cuttings from willow trees, especially weeping willow. Most of us know how easily willow twigs
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jul 3, 2009
                      --- On Thu, 7/2/09, Caralee <cgwoods@...> wrote:


                      > The growth stimulator in alfalfa is triacontanol.<

                      Thanks for that. Another potential growth stimulator is in cuttings from willow trees, especially weeping willow. Most of us know how easily willow twigs and cuttings will root themselves. Putting twigs in water with cuttings from other trees will often stimulate them to start roots. Or so I read... I tired this once, after reading about it in a science magazine, but I let the water get yucky and nothing much happened.

                      > ... that's what is in alfalfa<

                      One bit more of trivia: 'alfalfa' is from the Arabic, and means"good fodder." Which it really is.

                      Cheers,

                      Chris Green.


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                    • Nancy or David Gray
                      And the Latin name speaks for itself,,,,,Medicago sativa. ... From: Chris Green Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening what s in
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jul 3, 2009
                        And the Latin name speaks for itself,,,,,Medicago sativa.

                        --- On Fri, 7/3/09, Chris Green <pojeros@...> wrote:

                        From: Chris Green <pojeros@...>
                        Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening what's in alfalfa
                        To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Friday, July 3, 2009, 7:25 PM





















                        --- On Thu, 7/2/09, Caralee <cgwoods@hughes. net> wrote:



                        > The growth stimulator in alfalfa is triacontanol. <



                        Thanks for that. Another potential growth stimulator is in cuttings from willow trees, especially weeping willow. Most of us know how easily willow twigs and cuttings will root themselves. Putting twigs in water with cuttings from other trees will often stimulate them to start roots. Or so I read... I tired this once, after reading about it in a science magazine, but I let the water get yucky and nothing much happened.



                        > ... that's what is in alfalfa<



                        One bit more of trivia: 'alfalfa' is from the Arabic, and means"good fodder." Which it really is.



                        Cheers,



                        Chris Green.



                        ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

                        Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now

                        http://ca.toolbar yahoo.com.




























                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Barbara Roemer
                        Caralee, I think you meant triconatol, rather than triacontanol. It s the fatty acid in alfalfa that promotes plant growth. It s sometimes referred to as a
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jul 5, 2009
                          Caralee, I think you meant triconatol, rather than triacontanol. It's the
                          fatty acid in alfalfa that promotes plant growth. It's sometimes referred to
                          as a growth hormone, and though the result is similar, it's not the same
                          action. After reading a few years ago about alfalfa's use in Israeli
                          greenhouses for food production, I began using it in my gardens on
                          vegetables, fruit trees, and perennials to increase yields. It's an
                          excellent soil conditioner as well, but the local feed store guy thinks I'm
                          crazy for putting animal food in the ground. He mutters about best use, but
                          he hasn't seen the veggies grown with alfalfa or the clay soil with
                          magically improved tilth.


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Jimmie R Davis
                          I would like to try it, but the Deer would probably eat it all. I don t want to encourage them because they draw the Cougars, and I already have one with her
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jul 5, 2009
                            I would like to try it, but the Deer would probably eat it all. I don't want to encourage them because they draw the Cougars, and I already have one with her cub that walks down my driveway right under Mom's bedroom window about once a month.
                            Nadine

                            At 12:16 AM 7/5/2009, you wrote:


                            >Caralee, I think you meant triconatol, rather than triacontanol. It's the
                            >fatty acid in alfalfa that promotes plant growth. It's sometimes referred to
                            >as a growth hormone, and though the result is similar, it's not the same
                            >action. After reading a few years ago about alfalfa's use in Israeli
                            >greenhouses for food production, I began using it in my gardens on
                            >vegetables, fruit trees, and perennials to increase yields. It's an
                            >excellent soil conditioner as well, but the local feed store guy thinks I'm
                            >crazy for putting animal food in the ground. He mutters about best use, but
                            >he hasn't seen the veggies grown with alfalfa or the clay soil with
                            >magically improved tilth.
                            >
                            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Caralee
                            True. Triconatol. Bad spelling error. There is another growth promoter that I believe is triacontanol. Caralee ... From: Barbara Roemer To:
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jul 6, 2009
                              True. Triconatol.
                              Bad spelling error. There is another growth promoter that I believe is triacontanol.
                              Caralee
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Barbara Roemer
                              To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 1:16 AM
                              Subject: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening what's in alfalfa





                              Caralee, I think you meant triconatol, rather than triacontanol. It's the
                              fatty acid in alfalfa that promotes plant growth. It's sometimes referred to
                              as a growth hormone, and though the result is similar, it's not the same
                              action. After reading a few years ago about alfalfa's use in Israeli
                              greenhouses for food production, I began using it in my gardens on
                              vegetables, fruit trees, and perennials to increase yields. It's an
                              excellent soil conditioner as well, but the local feed store guy thinks I'm
                              crazy for putting animal food in the ground. He mutters about best use, but
                              he hasn't seen the veggies grown with alfalfa or the clay soil with
                              magically improved tilth.

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • RT
                              ... I m just jumping in at the tail end of this thread so I don t know if it s already been mentioned (and apologies if it has) but alfalfa, being a legume,
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jul 6, 2009
                                --- In SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com, "Caralee" <cgwoods@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > True. Triconatol.

                                and Babs wrote:
                                >
                                > Caralee, I think you meant triconatol, rather than triacontanol. >It's the fatty acid in alfalfa that promotes plant growth


                                I'm just jumping in at the tail end of this thread so I don't know if it's already been mentioned (and apologies if it has) but alfalfa, being a legume, fixes nitrogen (ie takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and puts it into the soil).

                                When I used to live in the farming country of southwestern Ontario where agricultural is practised more intensively than in my current neighbourhood of rocky Kanata and hence, more demands are placed on the soil, a regular occurence after seeding in Spring was the appearance of tractors hauling hug containers full of liquid ammonia (NH3)over the fields, a quicker alternative to planting alfalfa, to give the new plants a bennies-like "boost".

                                For anyone downwind, it was like being tossed into a barn full of about a gazillion chickens (or more precisely, the nitrogen-rich poop and pee of).

                                === * ===
                                Rob Tom
                                Kanata, Ontario, Canada
                                < A r c h i L o g i c at ChaffY a h o o dot C a >
                                (manually winnow the chaff from my edress in your reply)
                              • Darcy Goodrich
                                Just to add to Rob s good point, alfalfa actually is an environment for nitrogen fixing. It is the Rhizobium bacteria that infiltrate their roots,
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jul 7, 2009
                                  Just to add to Rob's good point, alfalfa actually is an environment for nitrogen fixing. It is the Rhizobium bacteria that infiltrate their roots, that convert atmospheric N, which is free, into Ammonia that can then be synthesized into plant-available N. Alfalfa and many other legumes are the perfect home for these amazing little soil critters to do their work. That is why when ever anyone is planning to seed some land down to pasture, forage specialists and consultants will always advise to seed 25-50% legumes combined with other grass species. Why fertilize when Mother Nature already developed the perfect system?
                                   Darcy Goodrich
                                  www.purecountry.ca
                                  ________________________________


                                  __________________________________________________________________
                                  Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now
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                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • David Neeley
                                  Last year, I heard a fascinating discussion on an organic gardening show--the Dirt Doctor--discussing the fungi associated with root systems that move nitrogen
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jul 7, 2009
                                    Last year, I heard a fascinating discussion on an organic gardening
                                    show--the Dirt Doctor--discussing the fungi associated with root
                                    systems that move nitrogen into the plant. This is an area that is
                                    receiving increasing attention by plant scientists, it seems. For
                                    example, an article on the Dirt Doctor's site talks about some of this
                                    research:

                                    "The researchers have already used the technique to study whether
                                    root-associated fungi known as arbuscular mycorrhizae take up organic
                                    forms of nitrogen, as in amino acids, and transfer them to plants. The
                                    standard view has been that these fungi prefer inorganic forms of
                                    nitrogen, such as ammonium. But Whiteside hitched the amino acid
                                    glycine to a quantum dot and watched as the fungus absorbed the
                                    modified glycine into cell compartments called vacuoles, from which it
                                    moved into chloroplasts, the nitrogen-demanding plant structures that
                                    carry out photosynthesis. The researchers hope to apply the tool to
                                    the larger question of how the biosphere's increasing load of
                                    inorganic nitrogen from fertilizers is affecting the balance of carbon
                                    and nitrogen in soil and consequently in the atmosphere." See:
                                    <http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_question/id/2048/>

                                    That site has a wealth of information for those who are interested, by the way.

                                    The company which the guest on that show runs has specialized strains
                                    of this fungi which can in many cases increase yields substantially.
                                    See <http://www.mycorrhizae.com/>

                                    After you have put all that lovely nitrogen into the soil, it's nice
                                    to know what happens to it next!

                                    David

                                    On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 18:45, Darcy Goodrich<pcstockfarm@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Just to add to Rob's good point, alfalfa actually is an environment for
                                    > nitrogen fixing. It is the Rhizobium bacteria that infiltrate their roots,
                                    > that convert atmospheric N, which is free, into Ammonia that can then be
                                    > synthesized into plant-available N. Alfalfa and many other legumes are the
                                    > perfect home for these amazing little soil critters to do their work. That
                                    > is why when ever anyone is planning to seed some land down to pasture,
                                    > forage specialists and consultants will always advise to seed 25-50% legumes
                                    > combined with other grass species. Why fertilize when Mother Nature already
                                    > developed the perfect system?
                                    >  Darcy Goodrich
                                    > www.purecountry.ca
                                  • Nancy or David Gray
                                    Fungi and bacteria and legumes.  Something that I found astonishing when I first learned it is that the Rhizobium bacteria and legumes, working together, can
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jul 7, 2009
                                      Fungi and bacteria and legumes.  Something that I found astonishing when I first learned it is that the Rhizobium bacteria and legumes, working together, can actually synthesize a complex molecule that is virtually a dead ringer for our own blood borne hemoglobin.  The bacteria is microaerotolerant and the hemoglobin-like molecule helps bind oxygen and create an environment favorable to the bacterium, which in return fixes nitrogen and provides it to the plant.  Way cool.

                                      --- On Tue, 7/7/09, David Neeley <dbneeley@...> wrote:

                                      From: David Neeley <dbneeley@...>
                                      Subject: Re: [SB-r-us] Re: Straw Bale Gardening what's in alfalfa
                                      To: SB-r-us@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 9:15 AM

















                                      Last year, I heard a fascinating discussion on an organic gardening

                                      show--the Dirt Doctor--discussing the fungi associated with root

                                      systems that move nitrogen into the plant. This is an area that is

                                      receiving increasing attention by plant scientists, it seems. For

                                      example, an article on the Dirt Doctor's site talks about some of this

                                      research:



                                      "The researchers have already used the technique to study whether

                                      root-associated fungi known as arbuscular mycorrhizae take up organic

                                      forms of nitrogen, as in amino acids, and transfer them to plants. The

                                      standard view has been that these fungi prefer inorganic forms of

                                      nitrogen, such as ammonium. But Whiteside hitched the amino acid

                                      glycine to a quantum dot and watched as the fungus absorbed the

                                      modified glycine into cell compartments called vacuoles, from which it

                                      moved into chloroplasts, the nitrogen-demanding plant structures that

                                      carry out photosynthesis. The researchers hope to apply the tool to

                                      the larger question of how the biosphere's increasing load of

                                      inorganic nitrogen from fertilizers is affecting the balance of carbon

                                      and nitrogen in soil and consequently in the atmosphere." See:

                                      <http://www.dirtdoct or.com/organic/ garden/view_ question/ id/2048/>



                                      That site has a wealth of information for those who are interested, by the way.



                                      The company which the guest on that show runs has specialized strains

                                      of this fungi which can in many cases increase yields substantially.

                                      See <http://www.mycorrhi zae.com/>



                                      After you have put all that lovely nitrogen into the soil, it's nice

                                      to know what happens to it next!



                                      David



                                      On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 18:45, Darcy Goodrich<pcstockfarm@ yahoo.ca> wrote:

                                      >

                                      >

                                      > Just to add to Rob's good point, alfalfa actually is an environment for

                                      > nitrogen fixing. It is the Rhizobium bacteria that infiltrate their roots,

                                      > that convert atmospheric N, which is free, into Ammonia that can then be

                                      > synthesized into plant-available N. Alfalfa and many other legumes are the

                                      > perfect home for these amazing little soil critters to do their work. That

                                      > is why when ever anyone is planning to seed some land down to pasture,

                                      > forage specialists and consultants will always advise to seed 25-50% legumes

                                      > combined with other grass species. Why fertilize when Mother Nature already

                                      > developed the perfect system?

                                      >  Darcy Goodrich

                                      > www.purecountry. ca


























                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Chris Green
                                      ... I ll add ferns to that: specifically, the Azolla fern(s). This is a family of floating ferns that looks like duckweed, so are sometimes called duckweed
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jul 7, 2009
                                        --- On Tue, 7/7/09, Nancy or David Gray <ndgray@...> wrote:

                                        > Fungi and bacteria and legumes.< 

                                        I'll add ferns to that: specifically, the Azolla fern(s). This is a family of floating ferns that looks like duckweed, so are sometimes called duckweed fern. They are used to increase rice yields in Asia.
                                        They are in a symbiotic relationship with a cyanobacterium which helps them obtain nutrients.
                                        More at the Azolla Wiki, including that this plant is considered a biofertilizer and a super-plant. I think it's a worthwhile plant to know about.
                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla

                                        It could be used in farm or garden ponds to supply some of the N for the garden.

                                        I think it might be worth growing this plant in the containment ponds built to capture pig waste and the like, and the ferns can be scoop up with fine mesh nets to add to the compost-- or perhaps feed to the chickens, if they'll eat it.
                                        Azolla won't survive freezing, but that should help restrict it from escaping into the wild.

                                        It is currently available from pet shops which have aquarium supplies. It's used in aquariums to soak up the urea put out by the fish.

                                        Cheers,

                                        Chris Green.






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                                      • Barbara Roemer
                                        Be careful what you wish for: a quick Google of azolla invasive? turns up *azolla pinnata* as on the US noxious weed list, and a weevil which has been used
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Jul 8, 2009
                                          Be careful what you wish for: a quick Google of "azolla invasive?" turns up
                                          *azolla pinnata* as on the US noxious weed list, and a weevil which has been
                                          used to control it is problematic in several other countries. In some
                                          countries, a. pinnata out competes the indigenous azolla.

                                          Even further off the topic, if you have a concern about what's indigenous in
                                          the plant world and why we should support it, *Bringing Nature Home* is a
                                          great read on how the native flora sustains the native fauna. Importing
                                          exotics as suburban and urban landscaping is contributing directly to a
                                          profound loss of songbirds,among many other creatures. You'd think that
                                          insects would readily adapt to a new food source, but in many cases,
                                          evolution in concert with the flora has taken millennia. A plant which may
                                          provide habitat for several hundred insect species in its native home might
                                          serve as food for only four species in the plant's adoptive home. You can
                                          check out the book here at Amazon, but buy it at your local bookstore.


                                          http://www.amazon.com/Bringing-Nature-Home-Sustain-Wildlife/dp/0881928542

                                          Now, back on topic, does anyone have suggestions for the *straw/clay
                                          wall*situation about which I posted?

                                          Barbara


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Chris Green
                                          ... Barbara s note of caution is well advised. There are a number or members of this family, some of which may be native to your area in the world. Those would
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Jul 9, 2009
                                            --- On Thu, 7/9/09, Barbara Roemer <roemiller4@...> wrote:

                                            > Be careful what you wish for: ....<

                                            Barbara's note of caution is well advised.
                                            There are a number or members of this family, some of which may be native to your area in the world. Those would be the one(s) to choose, and a further caution is to be mindful of the possibility the plant might escape into the wild. Another caution is that a die-off of a heavy bloom of these can cause the oxygen in the water to be reduced, and the pond can suffer from that severely.

                                            In something like a closed circuit- pig-waste pond this won't be an issue, but if there are wild marshes and wetlands near them, it would.
                                            Not that there are many of us on these lists who might actually have such a pond, mind you...

                                            Again, in choosing to grow azolla to use as a biofertilizer, one should be prepared to scoop up the ferns regularly and use them for a mulch, to add to the compost, or perhaps use them as a feed supplement--if that is in fact possible--I haven't checked that idea, so be mindful of that...

                                            In summary, it can be a useful addition to a gardeners tool box, under controlled circumstances.


                                            Even further off the topic, if you have a concern about what's indigenous in the plant world and why we should support it, *Bringing Nature Home* is a great read on how the native flora sustains the native fauna. Importing exotics as suburban and urban landscaping is contributing directly to a profound loss of songbirds,among many other creatures. <

                                            House cats.....kitties are nice, but they kill a couple of million songbirds a day in North America.


                                            Cheers,

                                            Chris Green.


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