Wed May 4 17:06:21 EDT 2011
the "missing" CO2 is being absorbed by plants and increasing
plant growth. (By "missing" the atmosphere does not contain
as much CO2 as it "should" by the amount civilization is
pumping into it.)
SE PA, zone 6
>Chris, don't know your situation, but my neighbors bring me >their leaves
>each fall, the tree trimmers dump their chippings where >directed, and we
>spread grass clippings around our fruit trees. There's >considerable
>nitrogen in these sources, which is released over time as >mulch around the
>fruit plants. We're learning how to feed our family of 6 >with minimal
Have been thinking about adequate nitrogen (N) levels for my fruit:
1) The NPR report above did not mention the action of soil microbes in N
fixation, whether free living or associated with legumes and other plants.
This is a major part of the nitrogen cycle, and can be used to our benefit.
Microbes also make N available from the breakdown of dead plant materials.
2) Am interested in Lucky and others planting in clover as a living mulch.
3) Areas of the eastern US have increasing N levels in rainfall, due to auto
exhaust deposition. Some researchers are now measuring the effects of this
excess N on breakdown of the soil organic layer on the forest floor.
4) As in #3, excess N speeds the breakdown of organic matter into CO2, hence
N additions can be overdone, even if the 10-10-10 or bloodmeal was on sale.
One can eyeball the inches of new growth, or submit leaves for foliar
analysis of too much or too little N.
5) Back to my abandoned orchard observations: the system there is balanced
enough to produce regular crops of usable fruit. Am working to get my land
closer to that kind of balance.
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