[Market-farming] Hard soil inside the High tunnels

David Inglis mhcsa at bcn.net
Wed Nov 24 10:43:29 EST 2004

One more perspective.

Another factor may be that it is as difficult to maintain Organic matter
in your overheated greenhouse as is it is in the tropics it resembles
for much of the year. I think if most of us were to transfer our
cropping techniques to the tropical environs that our greenhouse
resembles we would end up with similar results: salt burdened, hard
packed, low organic matter  unresponsive soils.

Soil OM is  constantly being destroyed and built up, however the
formation phase will only exceed the break down phase  when the soil
temperature is lower than 65 deg. +/-. The temperature of greenhouse
soil is often far above this.

Beyond the given mineral nature of any soil the structure and friability
is ultimately dependent on the Organic matter fraction. This is of
course true for our outside soils also but the greenhouse environment
accelerates the processes at work. A sandy open soil, especially if it
is tilled heavily, will accelerate this process even more. 


David A. Inglis
Mahaiwe Harvest C.S.A.

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