[permaculture] Soil fauna, discussion continued. Vetiver.org.

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Sun Mar 27 19:27:27 EDT 2011

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] Soil fawna
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 09:37:38 +1300
From: Don Miller <donmillernz at GMAIL.COM>

As others have stated, each situation is different.  The linked 
presentation shows what can be done to build fertility through 
vegetation establishment on actively eroding steep faces in a toxic 
acidic nutrient deficient volcanic rock in the tropics.   Numerous 
attempts to plant hardy* Pinus caribaea* had failed, although they were 
thriving outside of the gullied land.  There was no soil, just a shallow 
layer of frittered soft rock particles that washed off to pollute the 
adjacent reef each cyclone season.

Shallow contour trenches had to be adzed in the rock as a first step. 
Small quantities of mostly non-soluble minerals, including dolomite, 
were applied only where the contour lines of grass were planted to allow 
initial survival.  Once established, what appears to be a combination of 
mycorrhizal activity on the grass and N-fixing by the Acacia has allowed 
a reasonable level of soil fertility to develop within 7 or 8 years. 
Sediment production
has been effectively halted.


Elsewhere in the same island *P.caribaea* plantations have lifted the
fertility of previous barren slopes to the extent that good crops of 
Cassava are now being grown, after forest harvesting, with no 
application of any fertilisers.  Those who knock pine forests as being 
acidifiers that always wreck the soil please take note!


On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 7:25 AM, John D'hondt <dhondt at eircom.net> wrote:

> We used to have pigs outside and even with moving them every week or so
> they do a lot of damage to soil structure especially under wet conditions.
> In the middle ages they used pigs to make pond bottoms water impermeable and
> that is the effect we saw too. After the pigs there was no more natural
> drainage. And we grew lovely rushes and thistles but nothing much else.We
> found it taking at least 2-3 years to reverse that situation.
> Now we let the pigs out in the yard but we bring the greens to them.
> john

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