Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Restoring the soil in a semi-arid climate

Expand Messages
  • BT Benjaminson
    Thanks for your answer about daikons restoring soil structure, Beatrice. I am growing daikons commercially, albeit in small amounts, so in time that may help
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 14, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Thanks for your answer about daikons restoring soil structure, Beatrice.
      I am growing daikons commercially, albeit in small amounts, so in time that
      may help the soil. I remember reading that leaving the daikons in the soil
      to decompose is better than harvesting them. Am I remembering correctly?
      Sergio, mulching is something I do compulsively. Because we have much less
      rain than you, my problem is finding and transporting enough pure material
      to mulch with. My first attempt at mulching was with cardboard boxes from
      our move to Israel. But now I am giving tours of the place to my customers,
      that stuff is just too ugly. Straw I can get, but it is full of pesticides,
      etc.. Does anybody know if these break down adequately after a good long
      rainy winter? So far I am judging their breakdown based on how many roly
      poly bugs I see inside a pile of straw. Having some more scientific facts
      would help me, though.
      I thought about bulk quantities of old clothing but am concerned about the
      dyes leaching into the soil, and also having to check each label until I
      find the ones that are cotton.
      I am using a little bit of hardwood shavings from a kitchen cabinet factory.
      I am concerned about too much mixing in with and imbalancing the soil.
      Pine needles can be gotten at an enormous effort by raking them up from the
      thin layer on the ground of a nearby pine forest.
      I don't have enough land here to grow a lot of compost crops to use for
      mulch. The native plants are desert scrub and thornbushes which are not
      practical to cut and use for mulch because they hurt me and because they
      take forever to decompose.
      I've planted some leguminous trees but it is a little too cold here in the
      winter for them to become really lush and highly productive.
      Anyone have any ideas, especially of compost crops or trees that will grow
      copious amounts of organic matter on very poor alkaline soil and total
      drought for 6 months / year? : ) Ideally they should be vining plants or
      dappled shade trees that can shade out the native scrub.
      thanks to all.
      Bat-Tzion

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Beatrice Gilboa" <b.gilboa@...>
      To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:28 AM
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Worthy web sites on Fukuoka farming?


      >
      > Welcome Ben,
      >
      > I'm also living in Israel in a moshav south of Netanya.
      > I've'nt got the heavy gooey black soil that you probably talk about, but
      > the under ground is also with a big proportion of red clay.
      >
      > >> Has anyone experienced a significant loosening and lightening of very
      > heavy clay soils over time using no-till methods?
      >
      > - I started whith potatoes just put on the soil or in a small hole and
      > covered with much organic material or compost. That process improve the
      > situation and after a year or so, the situation was already much better.
      But
      > Fukuoka used Daikon as many of us on this list. I think any deep rooted
      > plant would do the work...
      > You could read on http://FukuokaFarmingOL.net
      > many useful explanations on this problem.
      >
      > >> I imagine the decomposing roots in the soil will eventually loosen it,
      > (and sometimes I leave the roots of annual weeds and spent crops in the
      > soil)
      >
      > - I never get out the roots of annual weeds but preferably cut them near
      the
      > soil
      >
      > >> but my soil here is so gooey and tight that I feel compelled to turn in
      > some sand and peat on a pretty frequent basis. What am I missing?
      >
      > mulch mulch mulch (on watered soil in the begining). Large diversity or
      > plants. Patience to learn and act from the observation, and not from our
      > ideas (and that is a uge program!)
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > Beatrice G
      > Udim, Israel
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Beatrice Gilboa
      Here some answers for you Bat-Zion, but there are more experienced people on ... to decompose is better than harvesting them. Am I remembering correctly? -
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 15, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Here some answers for you Bat-Zion, but there are more experienced people on
        this list that will probably answer better to your questions:

        >> I remember reading that leaving the daikons in the soil
        to decompose is better than harvesting them. Am I remembering correctly?


        - Harvesting the Daikon break the hardness of the soil, leaving them in the
        soil break it and nourrish it also.
        Don't remember what Fukuoka say about it if he precises the thing.
        Personnally I didn't harvest the first year, then yes, I harvest the
        potatoes I put instead of Daikon.


        >> My first attempt at mulching was with cardboard boxes from
        our move to Israel. But now I am giving tours of the place to my customers,
        that stuff is just too ugly

        - You can cover your cardboard with something more esthetic. I personnally
        use cardbord (wihtout printing) and put mowing grass from neighbourgs who
        are happy to give it to me. They also give me all the cutting of there
        quickset edge. I'm using also a lot of leaves from diverses trees around
        when they fall down (here in december or januar)
        Bravo for the tours you are giving!


        >> Straw I can get, but it is full of pesticides,
        etc.. Does anybody know if these break down adequately after a good long
        rainy winter?

        - It takes at least 2 years to decompose, and yes, really full of pesticides
        I wouldn't recommand it... except that it is really esthetic... Here is a
        real problem for me: people need to change there point of view of what is
        nice or not. A garden completly controled is not the nature esthetic.
        (cardboard neither of course :-)) )


        >> I thought about bulk quantities of old clothing but am concerned about
        the
        dyes leaching into the soil, and also having to check each label until I
        find the ones that are cotton.

        - cotton is very often one of the most polluant culture... I wouldn't
        encourage this neither. And as you say dyes are not from natural sources in
        our country.


        >>Pine needles can be gotten at an enormous effort by raking them up from
        the
        thin layer on the ground of a nearby pine forest.

        - Pine needles are too acid to be good, and it's takes much time to
        decompose. Almost no vegetable is growing well with a pine closely around

        >> Anyone have any ideas, especially of compost crops or trees that will
        grow
        copious amounts of organic matter on very poor alkaline soil and total
        drought for 6 months / year? : )

        - broad beans, string beans ("ful" or "fol" in hebrew) chickpeas are very
        easy to grow here
        white clover would be excellent, but I didn't find seeds here, and I'm
        suspicious about the possibility to grow whithout watering too much...

        Where exactly are you living in Israel? Maybe we could meet ?

        Best wishes to you and to all of you here.
        Beatrice
        Udim, Israel
      • LESLIEANDMARC@aol.com
        Add chicken or duck manure at the end of the year on top of cardboard and chop it with a hoe to loosen at the end of the year for the rains, then till it
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 15, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Add chicken or duck manure at the end of the year on top of cardboard and
          chop it with a hoe to loosen at the end of the year for the rains, then till
          it in x1...will be nice!


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.