Sunday, April 1, 2007

soiled entry I

some good things to know about soil:

  • One group of fungi (mycorrhizae) live in association with plant roots, and improve the take-up of nutrients from the soil.
  • Acid soils tend to be deficient in phosphorus and sometimes contian excess manganese and aluminum.
  • Alkaline soils tend to lack manganese, boron, and phosphorus.
  • Earthworms dislike acid soils, but clubworm and wireworms are common in acid conditions.
  • On alkaline soils, potato scab occurs more frequently.
  • The pH of soil is usually controlled by its calcium level.
  • Calcium is an alkaline element, lost through leaching.
  • Alkalinity can be increased by liming or adding mushroom compost.
  • Loam soils have the ideal balance of mineral particle sizes, with between 8 and 25 percent clay.
  • Lime binds clay soil particles together into crumbs by a process known as flocculation.
My garden thrived in thanks to deep-bed and double-digging methods that allowed me to plant densely in the small space.
  • When double-digging, it is essential that the subsoil is not mixed with the top soil.
  • Improve silty, compacted, and heavy clay soils with sand, gravel, and coarse organic matter.
  • Clay will improve the quality of impoverished soil.
  • Compost, pest, well-rotted manure are used to improve water retention in free-draining, sandy soil.
  • In a well drained soil, the water is held in fine capillary pores, which are usually less than 1/160in (o.16mm) in diameter, with air in the larger pores; it is there possible for soil to be described as both moist and well-drained.

...too be continued...

information acquired from:

The American Horticultural Society
Encylopedia of Gardening

Brickell, McDonald, Cole
DK Publishing, Inc., New York, NY 1993