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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old June 5, 2007   #16
amideutch
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dcarch, your electostatic sprayer sounds interesting. You have any links for more information on them. Your thread on UV had merit and is used quite extensively in hydroponics for controlling the pathogens in the nutrient solution. Also works great for ponds for controlling algae. Unfortunately it is beyond the scope of most hobby gardeners. As I said previously I'm using Actinovate this year and having good results so far. Ami
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Old June 5, 2007   #17
Tomstrees
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AMI !!!
How's it growing with this stuff ?
Sounds great !

~ Tom


Actinovate® SP is a high concentration of a patented beneficial bacterium on a 100% water soluble powder. This powerful new product effectively suppresses/controls a wide range of soil borne diseases including Pythium, Phytophthora, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Verticillium and other root decay fungi..

Actinovate® SP is also labeled as a spray application for foliar diseases (when appled as a spray) such as Powdery and Downey Mildew, Botrytis, Alternaria and others.

In fact, when used as a preventative, researchers have seen Actinovate® SP work as well or better than most chemicals.

The benefits of Actinovate® SP don't stop there: Because of the special properties of the Actinovate® microbe, plants treated with Actinovate® SP will be vigorous, have increased vitality and have much better root growth. Actinovate® SP contains the microorganism Streptomyces lydicus strain WYEC 108.

When introduced into the soil this microbe colonizes and grows around the root system of plants. While settling in the root's rhizosphere the microbe forms a synergetic relationship, feeding off of the plant's waste materials while secreting beneficial and protective by-products. This combination of the colonization and the protective secretions forms a defensive barrier around the root system of the plant which in turn suppresses and controls soil pathogens. S. lydicus also has been shown to prey on certain pathogens, disrupting their cell walls and disabling them in the process. Finally, the by-products of the Actinovate® microorganism also aid plants in complexing minerals and micronutrients found in the soil, allowing easier uptake and, thus, creating a stronger, more robust plant.

This symbiotic relationship between plant and microbe is the optimum balance for a natural, productive soil environment. Actinovate® SP makes it happen
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Old June 5, 2007   #18
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On a lighter side, I just fluffed up my compost pile in the back.
It is a cold compost as I just put coffee grounds and food scrapes in it.
It never heats up.
The worms are the size of young Garter Snakes and just as lively.
They bury back up in the ground in about 5 seconds.

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Old June 5, 2007   #19
dcarch
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Originally Posted by amideutch View Post
dcarch, your electostatic sprayer sounds interesting. You have any links for more information on them. -----
I don't have links on this topic. I think it's easy to Google and you'll get tons of info. The technology is used widely (painting cars, for instance). The principle is simple: electrically charge the particles and they will be attracted to adhere to oppositely charged surfaces.

My idea is to get a high voltage generator (low current, so there will be no danger) and hook it up to the spray nozzle with one pole, and charge up the plants (thru the soil) with the opposite charge and spray away.

A high voltage generator can be salvaged from a household electrostatic air cleaner.

dcarch
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Old June 5, 2007   #20
dcarch
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Quote:
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dcarch please look at link below.
-----------when folks think of Texas they think of flat land, cows and desert. ------------Where I live is very important to me central Texas is a unique place with the Edwards aquifer and porous lime stone we have here.
The Austin area is a beautiful place and trough out my life I have seen the area change drastically, creeks dry up, swimming holes dry up, springs dry up, lakes dry up.--------------------------------------
I hope our mounting national debt will not invite all sorts of foreign money to buy up our land. (Sorry Tom, way off-topic)

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Old June 5, 2007   #21
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A valid concern I regret. I miss my compost heap..
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Old June 7, 2007   #22
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I must do some replies on this thread.

Be careful to till straw in your soil. If you remember the composting process, composting is a balance between brown (P) and green (N) materials. When you put straw in the soil it will take the N in the soil to decompose and you just took fertilisers and green manures (like peas, lupines,...) to fix N in the ground, so no brown (raw) materials in the ground. Compost them first and put this 'on top' of the soil or mix very superficial.

We small backyard gardeners have an influece on our groundwaters and the environment in general. If you are watering 100L with chemicals 3 times a week, and your neighbours do, and their neighbours as well, the collective is putting lots of chemicals in the groundwater.
I can see that the commercial grower cannot brew nettle tea to feed hundreds of acres of crops so they use animal manure or chemicals, but we can with equal results so without moral judgement as usual : try it... ok my girlfriend is not always happy when some of the nettle tea odour or even the dried chicken/cow/horse manure odours follow me to the shower
,something that would not have been the case when I would have used the multicoloured sterile chemical pellets but she's even happier when I come and sit next to her after the shower ;-)

if you can find some extra time in your planning try to turn the compost heap every few weeks and add some extra greens to fire up the compost heat - active/heat composting gives you better (cleaner no unwanted seeds and even diseases) compost quicker, odourless and that beats that stinking rotting cold pile in some backyards that after some years will give something that looks like compost as well. It really isn't that much work actually... not dirtier than normal gardening

about the tilling than; I roughly dig up my clay garden into winterbeds before winter so that the freezing temperatures can brake down the soil-lumps and that gives me a crumblier soil already, it really works. Let the lumps be as they are don't try to make asparaguslike heaps - just raw lumps
the best time to apply the compost is before winter too, leaving it to cover the soil, the worms will do the rest.
There are some reasons not to till and mine are : air and compacting. Tilling with the same heavy material on the same depth can give you a compacted layer that influences the way water can go away. The top layer contains aerobic organisms that you till into anaerobic conditions and vice versa anaerobic organisms living deeper down don't like all the oxygen when they arrive in the top layer - they all die and you need life in your soil...you just roughly brake up the soil don't try to make a homogenous paste, you are not cooking you are gardening ;-)
Compost and not walking on the soil gives you fluffy soil, naturally...

Last edited by the999bbq; June 7, 2007 at 06:54 AM.
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Old June 7, 2007   #23
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Good to hear so many are already on board or at least willing to listen to entertain the idea ...

~ Tom

Organic:
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Old June 8, 2007   #24
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Tom, I posted this a while ago, here is a portion of it as it pertains to no tilliage. Remember. Ami
With higher temperatures, the total soil microbial population increases as does certain plant pathogens such as Fusarium, which is one of the main putrefactive, fungal pathogens in soil. The incidence and destructive activity of this pathogen can be greatly minimized by adopting reduced tillage methods and by shading techniques to keep the soil cool during hot weather. Another approach is to inoculate the soil with beneficial, antagonistic, antibiotic-producing microorganisms such as actinomycetes and certain fungi (Higa and Wididana, 1991a;
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Old November 18, 2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amideutch View Post
dcarch, your electostatic sprayer sounds interesting. You have any links for more information on them. Your thread on UV had merit and is used quite extensively in hydroponics for controlling the pathogens in the nutrient solution. Also works great for ponds for controlling algae. Unfortunately it is beyond the scope of most hobby gardeners. As I said previously I'm using Actinovate this year and having good results so far. Ami
Ami:
YES YES YES! Thank you for mentioning Actinovate SP! I've been using it for years now and whenever I try to tell others about it they think I'm crazy. In my personal experience, I have much better disease control when I apply it as a soil drench. A lot of people have high regard for the Mycorrhizae organisms, but I have better results with Streptomyces-like that in Actinovate. Try it in a soil drench, and re-water the following day. Watering with a weak solution of molasses and kelp will help to feed the organisms.
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