A: Yes our inoculant should help – the Soil Biology Boost, applied at 2-4 oz per acre of seed, as per instructions. Just use a clean spray bottle to mist the Soluplks liquid onto the seed and powder and use your hands to mix around until all of the seed is covered. They will get black but you can rinse them off or use gloves.
The soluplks is important with the Soil Bio Boost, because it’s enzymes function as an activator to help the microbes assimilate the minerals in the powder.
You also want to make sure to ask if the clover seed is already inoculated with the rhizobium nitrogen fixing bacteria – or purchase that inoculant from your seed dealer directly and also mix it onto the seed with the Soil Biology Boost.
Final tip is to make sure the seed is not treated with any fungicide, insecticide, etc. Seed coatings for water absorption are usually ok.
Spread the seed with visions of your field fertile with clover and diversity!
A: Maybe in the beginning – but not in the usual ways you hear. Add it to your compost. Build Organic Matter. Add it to your microbial brews of compost tea and let them cycle it. Add it to the tea just before foliar spray with an agent like SOlu-PLKS that will bind the mineral to itself and make it easy for the microbes to rip off and cycle to the plants.
Keep the soil covered and keep returning that Organic Matter to the soil surface.
Grow cover crops with deep roots and ones that will harvest “deficient” minerals from deeper in the soil profile and make them available to your microbes and next generation plants.
Move animals across the land and let them eat, salivate, urinate and put milk foam and stomp in these minerals from the cover crop. Naturally growing “weeds” can be that cover crop – and are usually the perfect ones to heal the land.
Find a way to work WITH and accelerate Nature’s healing processes. Stop trying to CONTROL them. Just give support.
Support the biological system
Microbes DO need minerals too – and can be shut down in their growth in a soil that is chemically treated, and abused causing a deficiency (loss of OM and humus).
But the soil itself if analyzed is not deficient – it is just that nutrient CYCLING is shut down.
Fertilizer companies (and therefore labs as their methods were developed to sell fertilizer)…want you to have all of the mineral a plant needs SOLUBLE or almost SOLUBLE at the time they test it. This means that the next time it rains all that mineral that they want SOLUBLE goes into our water supply and pollutes our rivers and oceans – and threatens our groundwater if it has chemical reserves in it. This is threatening our survival because our oceanic health has declined to a point where we may not recover.
If you don’t have the soluble mineral that the plant needs its entire life, then the chemistry labs ask you to apply that – at one or two applications!
And don’t forget that the chemistry labs only test for a handful of minerals at best – but that over 90+ minerals are ESSENTIAL to microbe and plant and HUMAN life – every day! if any ONE of them is low it shuts down the health of the entire system!
A healthier approach wants a small soluble “gas tank”, to use that analogy, that is refilled by microbes often so not much is ever lost.
Given that their test that does not test the massive extractable mineral reserves of the soil, Most times as Elaine says = if you stop killing the microbes and put them back and support their growth with some BASIC principles (see NRCS Soil Principles)…you will see plants fully mineralized at all stages of growth.
As far as my experience leads me:
Soils – if you analyze the Total Extractable Nutrient (by grind and combustion of all elements) – are not deficient. The soil chemistry tests done by labs only test the tip of the iceburg of total available soil mineral, and so say you need to buy fertilizer when most often you do not. Soil Chemistry labs (the testing from which has declared our soil “deficient” in Se, only test for the soluble and some of the exchangeable pools – but not what is actually available if microbes are healthy and digesting the sand silt and clay with their enzymes.
Stop trying to fix it with a bag of chemical fertilizer applied on the soil. And massive applying to soil of even “organic” mined mineral fertilizers is wasting money most often and is certainly not sustainable.
I agree that soils deficient in minerals may need help getting the microbial system started and revving up – but once going they don’t need any more applied Selenium, even in our “deficient” soils. Plants grown in soils that are “deficient” in Se can have plenty of Se in their tissue tests if the microbes are functioning.
I have proof of this with a farm that I will present had 300 lbs deficient in K – and grew great crops with no soil K applied! just microbes, microbial foods, solu-PLKS (which feeds microbes and holds minerals microbe-available), and a small amount of minerals for them through the leaf.
There are a lot of fallacies taught by soil scientists who run labs and are educated by systems that are funded by the chemical industries – who want to sell farmers minerals.
So, minerals make the rockin’ world go round – but how you access them is important. Lets support and heal the NATURAL system. We can not go against the laws of nature no matter how we might try!
Q: I am impressed at what you are achieving with your property, I have one question though do you ever use Bio-solids and what is your take on that subject? Thanks!
A: When I worked with our family farms (2005 through 2012), my family had used bio-solids extensively since 2002. They would vary the land type where they applied it, and do the soil testing and nutrient management planning to use the appropriate biosolid type to balance soil pH (high lime or low lime biosolid).
I started studying what was happening biologically. The biosolids I tested were bacterially dominated, so their use (especially repeated use) caused more weeds to grow, because the biosolids made the soils more bacterially dominated over time, instead of building the 1:1 Fungal to bacterial ratios needed for healthy row crops and grasslands. The forms, rates, and pulses of nitrogen produced in the bacterially dominated soil stimulated weed seed germination and growth versus grasses or crops.
If you know me you know I am all in favor of putting manure on the land…but letting the animals do it naturally and the dung beetles and earthworms take the poo into soil rapidly, or properly composted with carbon to build the proper fungal to bacterial balance for healthy crops.
Lastly, many cities do not separate their human poo from the industrial and medical waste streams. There are many chemicals used in households and prescription drugs flushed down the toilet each day. So the biosolids needs to be biologically re-mediated to be truly healthy. Just using lime to kill e.coli and mediate pH is not the full answer.
Plants and microbes can bio-remediate and photo-remediate a lot of our wastes, but personally for my farm I do not use the commercially available biosolids. I use our animals for our fertility and do not need to import more.
Lastly, It is critical that even those who disagree with their use take a hard look at our waste streams and what we are creating. We all are part of the problem…but it is our own intersection with these “problems” where the opportunity lies for healing!
Q: I obtained a 4 oz sample of Solu-PLKS. I am a home gardener. How would I dilute it to use on a 4X12 ft. raised bed for vegetables?
If you have applied any other types of fertilizers or manures or nutrients you need to do a small test plot as it can over fertilize because it makes what you put down more available!
Otherwise use it at 1-4 gal per acre and you can buy a chemical liquid fertilizer mixer for your hose at any Lowes or garden store and add the Solu-PLKS. You can just spray it out and soak the root zone of the plants and get the leaves too.
If you know your land needs minerals you can first mix the Solu-PLKS with water and mineral and then apply the mixture to the roots or as a foliar feed.
You can also use buckets or a backpack sprayer but that can be tedious.
Or if you are transplanting you can dip transplants in a bucket with water and Solu-PLKS and then plant and use the remainder of the water to water it in.
We also have a dry product and great seed treatment to get seeds off right!
It is not a harsh chemical so you don’t have to be too precise…try a few plants and let me know.
Q: Does your day one workshop tea brewer come with a pump and hoses?
We do not sell Brewers themselves.
At our Grow Your Soil workshop we show you the 5 gal, 100 gal and 1000 gal systems and spray rigs in detail, plus give you recipes…and most importantly when to use extracts versus teas.
We teach you recipes that work for compost teas, mineral chelation for foliar feeding, and how to identify what your plants and soil needs.
Earthfort has some great models of Brewers for sale.
Q: What are the dangers of using Roundup? In this case it was for meadow restoration.
The salts pull the water out of the bodies of microbes and kill them in mass numbers, causing the soil to compact and loose structure, airspace and the ability to cycle minerals to plants
Also because the salt has a strong electrical charge, it ties up trace minerals in the soil, bonding them to itself in a strong bond that keeps them from the plant
The trace minerals, although needed in small amounts, control every function of our bodies (and that of plants and animals and microbes)…from growth to cellular reproduction to hormones and immunity to digestion and reproduction…to protein synthesis and photosynthesis.
These trace minerals are critical to every function because they are like keys that plug into enzymes to make all things living work.
No reaction happens without enzymes and therefore these trace minerals.
So when roundup residues are present, life shuts down and pathogens and weeds will actually become worse.
For, although the roundup may kill a flush of weeds in the short run, it compacts the soil further (by killing the life that produces the glues that build pore spaces and structure in the soil).
This compaction causes water to run down and then across and creates anaerobic slime layers of facultative anaerobes (plant and human pathogens). It is kind of like if you leave your dogs water out a day and you can feel the slime even before you can see it.
By that time it is hundreds of cell layers thick. The same thing happens when water sits in the soil on top of a compacted or more dense layer.
These facultative anaerobes wake up as the concentration (ppm) of oxygen drops in the soil (because oxygen dissolves more slowly through the water layer that is on top of the compacted soil instead of infiltrating down into it if the good microbes were present holding aggregates together with their glues, creating airspaces, macro and micro pores,and good soil structure.
The pathogens breed and their numbers grow in the compacted facultative ,anaerobic slime layer, and then they use up oxygen and die off in large numbers (because they are not strict anaerobes).
Because bacteria are mostly protein, when they die a lot of nitrogen is released into the soil
This nitrogen is in the form of NO3, or nitrate. This die off causes a huge pulse of nitrate
Now this nitrate triggers a whole new germination flush of weeds, because it is precisely the form and amounts of nitrogen that weeds take.
For healthy meadow and grasslands, we want to create more balanced forms of nitrogen in the soil, a mix of both NO3 and NH4.
So meadow making protocols that call for glyphosate may be using the glyphosate to trigger weeds to germinate for pollinators
However this is unethical as glyphosate residues are showing up in our guts and the guts of animals
Plus it ties up trace minerals from the bees…causing the colony death
So you end up with a meadow of flowers that to the untrained observer might look healthy, but actually much of the whole ecosystem has been destroyed and filled with harmful toxins.
And the glyphosate shuts down the soil function, so the meadow soil is not functioning to filter out groundwater and keep nutrients out of our streams, lakes and oceans.
We have bee recipes that are economical and easy to make
The bees grow in size, don’t die off and produce more quantity and quality of honey when fed minerals and enzymes
So please don’t put out glyphosate which ties up minerals and enzymes
It harms the pollinators, compacts the soil which makes it more vulnerable to flood and drought…plus causes it to turn to dust and runoff into our water supplies (causing the dead rivers and oceans)
It also is behind our human diseases (carcinogen) but mostly because it harms our endocrine systems by tying up trace minerals.
Glyphosate breaks down the actin protein filaments that hold our colon cells together (called “tight junctions”)
This causes leaky gut where the toxins our body is trying to eliminate go straight into our bloodstream and to our brains and poison us.
Glyphosate was originally developed as a microbicide to keep industrial pipes clean
There are so many better ways to restore natural healthy habitat
The glyphosate has a super long half life and recycles through the perennial weeds and is re-released back into the soil and ecosystem, and so does not go away very fast.
So even if the glyphosate programs are getting “meadows” they have a poisoned landscape
Health is not restored and they are harming the very pollinators they are trying to protect!
And then they wonder why the bees die, and then try more chemicals to “fix” that problem.