[permaculture] Question about salt in my compost, salt in the ecosystem

Mathew Waehner waehner at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 15:28:06 EST 2008

I am having a hard time understanding salt.  I have been avoiding putting
food scraps with any salt into the compost, but it seems that some of the
best soil amendments, such as seaweed and bloodmeal, are fairly salty.

Beyond my question of  "how much salt can my compost handle", I want to
understand how sodium moves in an ecosystem, since animals need to
accumulate it but plants need to avoid it.

I've heard that organic soils can buffer sodium from the plants, I would be
interested to learn more on how that works, since plants need potassium
which is chemically similar to sodium.

I'm using the word "salt" in the sense of table salt; I know that the sodium
and chlorine dissociate and have different effects.  I also get that "salt"
can refer to any anion + cation.

I am in the southeastern US (Raleigh, NC).  Saline soils aren't a big
problem here, but drought certainly can be.

Thanks for all the help, thanks for sharing the knowedge!

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