[NAFEX] Beaver" manure" and soil fertility
interverbis at videotron.ca
Sat Jun 21 13:31:15 EDT 2008
Judging from what the beaver dams are made of to-day (alder, poplar branches
mainly soft leafy wood so yes branches, rarely coniferous, packed with silt
and clay), the old beaver dam that we are using as fertiliser was probably
the same. We do find here and there pieces of wood still intact.
When this soil is used as fertiliser I feel that it would be difficult to
add too much boron, if indeed it contains boron. It's not as if you
distributed a concentrated form of boron (Like Donna said borax) on the
soil. In that case, you do have to be careful about quantities. I am mostly
noticing the changes in the vegetation, which is spectacular, and getting
the impression that this is a positive change and I was curious to see if
the nature of the change could be explained by the presence of boron.
I am a great believer in the value of weeds, in the garden. I use mulch and
weed out only what gets in the way. I can mostly identify all weeds growing
in my garden, and I am noticing new weeds lately. Also I am noticing
reseeding of some flowers and herbs which I have not planted for a few
years, such as cosmos, calendula, borage dill. As if the seeds had been
there lying dormand all along waiting for the ideal conditions to sprout.
We are also receiving more than our share of rain these days. But it does
not compare to what is happening further south. My sympathy is with you!
Back to the subject as we have been reminded to keep on track and label
correctly the subject heading.... beaver manure is great!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Woodard" <dwoodard at becon.org>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2008 3:25 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Gooseberry help
Helene, I wonder if your old beaver dam material is in effect "ramial
chipped wood" that didn't have to be chipped, plus silt. I expect that
this material might contain a certain amount of boron as well as other
Be careful with boron, plants need only small amounts and too much is
toxic. It's easy to get too much. Plants vary in their requirement for
boron. I seem to remember that alfalfa is especially greedy for it.
St. Catharines, Ontario
Hélène Dessureault wrote:
> Donna, can you tell us more about the boron effect on beet?
> I did have problems with poor beet performance along with slow fruits
> trees development. I tried manures, different mulches, a local source of
> dolomite with a generous content in magnesium which helped without
> spectacular improvements. Lately, I found a new source of amendement
> to our sandy acidic hillside soil that seemed to have
> noticiably improved both beets and fruit trees, and began to suspect a
> common denominator without knowing that it might be related to boron....
> We have a major stream on our property, often occupied by beavers. They
> have diverted its course recently revealing an ancient beaver dam along
> one side which must have served at one time to block another tributary
> which is now just a trickle but must have been more significant at some
> point. This ancient beaver dam is made of amazingly rich soil, a
> heavy combination of clay and rotted wood, very black and practically
> greasy at times, and we have been dismantling it and using this soil
> progressively as a fertilizer, with great results. Since, we have
> noticed that the leaves are darker and healthier on the fruit trees AND
> the beet were much larger, tender and sweet last Fall, not to mention
> general improvement in the quality and water retention to the soil.
> Where is boron generally found? Do you think that this soil could
> contain boron?
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