[NAFEX] barren ground happy for apples?

Rodney Eveland Reveland at WYOMING.com
Sat Jan 4 15:02:59 EST 2003

I suggest you first find out why the ground is barren. Certain clay like
soils are barren - period. Bentonite is one of those soils. We have
outcroppings of it East of here. Mother nature hasn't been able to find
a plant that will grow in it and I doubt you will either. Other clays
have a wonderful reaction with chemicals, especially sulfur or compounds
that contain sulfur. That's why they sell gypsum to be added to soil.
Unfortunately some clays have an adverse reaction to these chemicals, so
you probably should find out if the USDA has a soil scientist in your
area and then go have a chat with him; other than that horse manure
sounds pretty good.  Have you or anyone else heard of any benefits from
barley straw other than as "soil roughage"? When it decays it releases a
chemical that will keep a small pond algae free and I've heard that
raspberry production increases when it is used as a mulch, but I've
never tried it myself.

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