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Why does frost increase soil fertility?

Why does frost increase soil fertility?


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I was reading this paper: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1011398431524, which makes claims based on the the idea that frost can increase soil fertility. How/Why will frost increase the fertility of the soil? I was always under the assumption that frost was bad for soil and plants in general.


I found this article on why frost increase soil fertility - specifically nutrient density in the soil. 101 years old!

The Occurrence of Bacteria in Frozen Soil E. C. Harder Botanical Gazette Vol. 61, No. 6 (Jun., 1916), pp. 507-517 https://www.jstor.org/stable/2469064?seq=3#fndtn-page_scan_tab_contents

Relevant text pasted below. In short: it is bacterial action and nitrogen fixation which contributes to soil fertility. Freezing increases bacterial population and these metabolic activites. The theory is that freezing kills bacterial predators on higher trophic levels (protozoans) but the bacteria live and thrive in the absence of predators.

An analogous hypothesis proposed by RUSSEL3 for increases in the number of bacteria after partial sterilization by heat, frost, or other means is that by such partial sterilization the protozoa are killed, thus permitting the unhindered development of bacteria which under normal conditions is held in check by protozoa.
BROWN and SMITH (loc. cit.) in their investigations dealt mainly with the physiological activities of bacteria under conditions of low temperature and frost, although they also made some determinations of the number of bacteria in frozen soil. Their principal conclusions regarding the ammonifying, nitrifying, denitrifying, and nitrogen fixing powers of frozen soils are as follows: (1) that "frozen soils possess a much greater ammonifying power than unfrozen soils"; (2) that "during the fall season, the ammonifying power of the soil increases until the temperature of the soil almost reaches zero, when a decrease occurs, and this is followed by a gradual increase and the ammonifying power of the soil reaches a maximum at the end of the frozen period"; (3) that "the nitrifying power of frozen soils is weak and shows no tendency to increase with extension of the frozen period"; (4) that "frozen soils possess a decided denitrifying power which seems to diminish with the continuance of the frozen period"; (5) that "during the fall season, the denitrifying power of the soil increases until the soil freezes, after which a decrease occurs"; (6) that "frozen soils possess a nitrogen fixing power which increases with the continuance of the frozen period, being independent of moderate changes in the moisture conditions, but restricted by large decreases in moisture"; and (7) that "in the fall, the nitrogen fixing power of the soil increases until the soil becomes frozen, which in almost ceases, after which a smaller nitrogen fixing power is established."


From the introduction (bottom of page 167 and top of page 168) of the paper you linked (Masters and McMillan 2001)

We use newly available worldwide climate data to quantify the prevalence of seasonal frosts, hypothesizing that what the tropics have in common is an absence of winter frost, "the great executioner of nature" (Kamarck, 1976, p.17). A hard frost that kills exposed organisms in nature could have a major influence on the productivity of human investment in agriculture and health, by reducing competition from pests, pathogens and parasites.


Improve Soil Fertility with Compost

A little soil common sense will go a long way to helping you understand how to care for your garden. All soils are not the same they differ in many ways, including texture, fertility, and pH (acidity/alkalinity).

Soil texture is the look and feel of your soil. It's determined by the size of the soil particles. At one extreme is beach sand, with soil grains so large you can see the individual particles. Not much grows in sand. Water runs right through it, and in direct sun, it gets so hot you can hardly walk on it in bare feet.

At the other extreme is clay, such as the red and gray clay found in many parts of the country. Clay is made up of tiny, flat soil particles that turn into a gooey mess when wet and resemble cracked brick when dry. Although naturally fertile, clay is slow to warm in spring and water doesn't readily drain from it, meaning gardeners get a late start in spring.

The ideal soil is loam, which contains a mixture of particle sizes. Loam drains well, yet also retains water, and is easy to work.

Compost and Other Organic Matter

However, no matter what type of soil you have, adding organic matter -- material that was once alive -- will improve it. Leaves, grass clippings, pine straw, and vegetable wastes from your kitchen are examples of organic matter. Applied at least one month before planting your annual garden and worked into the soil, organic matter will decompose and provide nutrients to plants. An even better way to add organic matter is with compost. Compost is a gardener's best friend: It helps break up clay particles, allowing water to drain better. In sandy soils, it binds the grains together to retain moisture and fertility. Compost can be applied as a mulch to perennial plantings.

A healthy soil, loaded with compost, will be naturally fertile. Underground, plant roots are mining the soil, turning organic minerals into leaves, flowers, and fruit. While light and water are essential for this process, there are also some major nutrients that must be in place for proper growth.

  • Nitrogen is needed for green leafy growth.
  • Phosphorus helps with strong root and healthy fruit and seed formation.
  • Potassium is needed for vigorous growth and disease resistance.

Although healthy soils may have plenty of these nutrients available, on less-than-ideal soil plants may need supplemental feeding. And even plants on healthy soils can sometimes benefit from additional nutrients.

The form in which the nutrients are applied is of utmost importance. Although synthetic fertilizers provide precise amounts of specific nutrients, they lack micronutrients and soil-building microorganisms, and because they release nutrients all at once, they promote a flush of growth that is weak and susceptible to disease. Also, the excess nutrients leach away, polluting nearby waterways. The opposite is true of compost. It provides a slow, sustained release of nutrients that plants use as needed.

Compost provides so many benefits that every gardener should consider taking advantage of this easy-to-make soil improver.


DRAINAGE, SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE

Introduction

Soil drainage is a natural process by which water moves across, through, and out of the soil as a result of the force of gravity. Drainage is a component of the global hydrologic cycle and streams and rivers are the naturally developed drainage conduits through which some of the water arrives at the land surface as precipitation is transported across the landscape and eventually to the oceans. This natural process also provides the water that supports seeps, springs, stream baseflow, and aquifer recharge. As water leaves the soil, air moves into the space previously occupied by the water this process is called aeration. Adequate soil aeration is vital for maintaining healthy plant roots and the many beneficial organisms that live in the soil and require oxygen for respiration. As the proportion of water and air in the soil changes as a result of drainage, the ability of the soil to provide support and traction for animals and vehicles (trafficability) is altered as the strength of the soil changes with water content.

The natural drainage of the soil may limit human use of the resource. Poor drainage has social and economic impacts. The drainage of the soil can be accelerated by the use of surface and subsurface drainage practices. Surface drainage diverts excess water from the soil surface directly to streams, thereby reducing the amount of water that will move into and possibly through the soil. Subsurface drainage, provided by ditches and drainpipes, collects and diverts water from within the soil directly to streams.


Crop Rotation Effects on Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition

Soil organic matter and clay particles hold large stores of plant nutrients. These reservoirs, however, are not all available to the crop. In an organic crop rotation, the grower manages soil organic matter and nutrient availability by incorporating different crop residues, cycling among crops with different nutrient needs, using cover crops, and adding organic soil amendments. Most crops deplete soil nutrients during their growth cycle. Some of these nutrients leave the farm as harvested products, and the rest return to the soil as crop residues. The nutrients in residues may or may not be available to the next crop. Crop roots and residues improve soil fertility by stimulating soil microbial communities and improving soil aggregation. This improved soil physical environment facilitates water infiltration, water holding, aeration, and, ultimately, root growth and plant nutrient foraging. This section will review different ways that crop rotations affect soil fertility.

Understanding the basics of how nutrients are added to and released from soil organic matter will help the farmer in choosing crop sequences and amendments to optimize organic crop fertility. Certain fractions of soil organic matter contribute to plant nutrition more than other fractions. To effectively plan organic crop rotations to meet crop nutrient needs, several factors should be considered. Legume crops, which capture atmospheric nitrogen and “fix” it into forms available to plants, can be used strategically in rotations to meet the needs of nitrogen-demanding crops. Cover crops used after a cash crop capture surplus plant-available nutrients and conserve these for following crops. Cash crops themselves vary in their nutrient demands (see Appendix 1) considering their needs helps make the most efficient use of the available soil nutrients in a rotation. Finally, other types of organic amendments, such as compost and manures or approved mineral fertilizers, can supplement nutrients at targeted times during a rotation. Each of these topics is discussed in the sections below.

The Basics: How Nutrients Are Released from Soil Organic Matter

Levels of soil organic matter range from about 0.4 percent to 10 percent in mineral soils in temperate regions. While organic matter is a relatively small fraction of the soil, it has large effects on soil structure and soil fertility. Soil organic matter contains an estimated 95 percent of soil nitrogen (N) and 40 percent of soil phosphorus (P), and with the right levels and conditions it may provide all of the N and P needs of a crop. Estimates of total nitrogen in a soil with 3 percent organic matter range from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds per acre estimates of phosphorus range from 100 to 300 pounds per acre. Soil microorganisms release these nutrients when they consume organic matter and subsequently die. The rate of this nutrient release is affected by the availability of carbon sources (energy for the soil microbes), soil temperature, soil moisture, tillage, types and numbers of soil organisms, and quality of the soil organic matter.

A portion (10–20 percent) of the total soil organic matter has been termed the “active” fraction and is most easily decomposed by soil organisms. This active fraction is replenished primarily by additions of organic matter (cover crops, crop residues, manures, compost). Soil organisms, which make up another 10–20 percent of soil organic matter, decompose this active organic matter. Upon death, these organisms release their nutrients to plants. The remaining soil organic matter is humus. The humus is more slowly digested by soil organisms and therefore is not a large source of available nutrients. Humus is very important, however, because it provides cation exchange sites, which hold nutrients in the soil and thus maintain their availability to plants.

Organic matter amendments to soil decompose at different rates, and this affects how quickly nutrients become available to crops. Several factors affect the rate of decomposition of organic amendments, including the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of the amendment, soil type, temperature and moisture conditions, and the crop being grown. Green manures, which are part of the more active organic matter fraction, decompose readily, liberating nutrients relatively quickly. Composts have more stable, humic organic matter, and decompose more slowly. As a result, most composts release nutrients to crops more slowly than green manures.

Organic matter decomposition is enhanced in the area immediately around roots (the rhizosphere). Roots release organic compounds, such as carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins, into the soil, stimulating growth of microorganisms in this zone. Many of these organisms decompose organic matter, resulting in nutrient release to the crop. Very little research has been done to determine which plant varieties or species best support these nutrient-releasing microorganisms. In the future, such information may help identify crop varieties well adapted to organic systems.

When cover crops are regularly part of a rotation, their residues increase soil organic matter. The organic matter feeds the growth of microbes, which increases the release of N as they die and decompose. Thus, integrating cover crops into a crop rotation at specific points can help enhance nutrient cycling and conservation.

Nitrogen Contributions from Legume Cover and Cash Crops

Legumes may be present in a rotation as a harvested crop (for example, alfalfa) or as a green manure (for example, vetch or clover). Legumes are of special interest in organic crop rotations because of their ability to add nitrogen to the system. Specialized bacteria (Rhizobium spp.) associated with the roots of legumes convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2 gas) into plant-available nitrogen. The amount of N fixed by this association between bacteria and legumes varies with plant species and variety, soil type, climate, crop management, and length of time the crop is grown. When used strategically in a rotation, legumes provide N to the subsequent crop. The amount of N that a legume crop contributes to following crops depends on the amount of N fixed, the maturity of the legume when it is killed or incorporated into the soil, whether the entire plant or only the root system remains in the field, and the environmental conditions that govern the rate of decomposition. As a result, estimates of the amount of N contributions by legumes to subsequent crops range from 50 to over 200 pounds per acre (see Appendix 1).

Nitrogen Scavenging and Conservation by Nonlegume Winter Cover Crops

Winter-hardy grains and grasses have extensive root systems that are more efficient than legumes at scavenging soil nitrates in the fall, thereby reducing late fall and winter leaching of nitrogen (75). In the northeastern US, small grains (rye and wheat) are the most common winter-hardy cover crops used by vegetable growers, since harvests of cash crops often extend into late summer and fall. Once incorporated in the following spring, these cover crops will release captured N and other nutrients to subsequent crops, but at a slower rate than from legume cover crops because of the slower decomposition of grain residues.

In some cases, such as when heavy crop or cover crop residues with high carbon-to-nitrogen ratios (30:1 or higher) are tilled into the soil, soil N may become unavailable to plants (immobilized) in the short run because it is taken up by soil microorganisms as they feed on the carbon-rich residues. Seeding a legume cover crop with small grains (for example, hairy vetch with cereal rye) can reduce N immobilization by providing additional N to microorganisms during decomposition of residues. Alternatively, delaying the planting of a cash crop for about two weeks after incorporation of residues generally allows sufficient time for the cycling of N through microorganisms and then back into the soil. Incorporating nonlegume cover crops while they are still young and leafy also reduces problems with N immobilization.

One important consideration when using overwintering cover crops is their potential to deplete soil water. Although cover crops can improve water infiltration and soil water-holding capacity, the short-term depletion of soil water in the early spring can reduce yields of subsequent cash crops in dry springs. In this situation, cover crops may need to be incorporated early to conserve soil water, or irrigation may be required. The opposite is also true—cover crops can help dry up wet fields in the spring.

Winter-killed cover crops (species vary by climate) also capture significant amounts of soil nitrogen (up to 50–90 lbs/acre) in the fall (102) prior to being killed by low temperatures. The amount of soil N captured is related to the N that is available, the time of planting, and the total growth of the cover crop prior to being killed. Researchers observed that Brassica cover crops grew more in the fall and, as a result, captured more N than an oat cover crop (102). Across species, however, the fall-planted, winter-killed cover crops reduced soil nitrate levels in the fall and increased levels in the spring, compared to soil left bare over the winter. Thus, excess soil nitrogen from the end of one season was captured and conserved for the following season’s crop. Note that while Brassica cover crops are good at capturing nutrients, they may host diseases (clubroot) and insects (flea beetle) that attack other Brassica species in the rotation.

TABLE 3.1: Ranking of annual vegetables based on nutrient requirements
Low Medium High
Beans, all Brassica greens Broccoli
Beet Cucumber Cabbage
Carrot Eggplant Cauliflower
Herbs Pepper Corn
Peas Pumpkin Lettuce
Radish Spinach, chard Potato
Squash Tomato
Sweet Potato
Watermelon
Winter squash
Note: Vegetables are classified as having low, medium, or high nutrient requirements. These categories do not account for differences among varieties.
TABLE 3.2: Rooting depth and lateral spread of roots for several crops
Crop Estimated rooting depth (inches) Lateral rooting spread (inches)
Oat 60 10
Turnip 60 30
Soybean 80 20
Barley 55 10
Alfalfa 120 5
Pea 35 25
Rye 60 10
Potato 35 15
Sorghum 70 25
Wheat 60 5
Field corn 70 40
Source: Adapted from reference 42: A. A. Hanson, Practical Handbook of Agricultural Science (Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 1990).

Differences in Crop Nutrient Uptake

Crop nutrient uptake varies due to many factors, including rooting depth and breadth variety and environmental factors, including soil tilth. Generally, crops may be characterized as having low, medium, or high nutrient demands based on their nutrient uptake efficiency (table 3.1). Different varieties within any crop may be more or less efficient at taking up nutrients. Those crops with a high nutrient demand (predominately N) require higher levels of those nutrients to be present in the soil solution. This high demand could be related to large vegetative plant growth prior to fruit set (in the case of corn and tomatoes) or due to poor foraging ability of the crop’s roots (in the case of lettuce). Green manures and soil fertility amendments have the most benefit when they target the crops with high nutrient demands. On inherently fertile soils, crops with low nutrient requirements often achieve good yields from residual soil fertility alone.

Crop rooting depth can have important implications for nutrient availability as well as soil physical characteristics. Crop rotations that integrate deep-rooting crops with less nutrient-efficient crops can help cycle nutrients in the soil profile. The deep-rooted crops listed in table 3.2 absorb nutrients from deep in the soil and move them to the plant’s top growth. As crop residues are returned to the surface soil, these newly “mined” nutrients are potentially available to future crops. Deep-rooted crops also create channels into the soil that later can improve water infiltration. Although most of the listed crops are typical of grain rotations, the data are also relevant to vegetable producers, since grain and forage crops are integrated into vegetable rotations as cover crops.

Note: Ten tons of manure were applied every other year. The cumulative balances are based on the difference between the export and the input of nutrients. Not all of the nutrient inputs are available in the first year.

* t=tons, bu=bushels, and ac=acres

Compost, Micronutrient, and Rock Powder Applications for Crop Nutrition

Soil tests may suggest the need for additional inputs of particular nutrients. In some cases, soils are naturally low in nutrients in other cases, export of nutrients in crops has led to soil depletion. Organic soil amendments such as composts, trace element mixes, plant and animal meals, and rock powders can be used to meet some of these needs. Many organic soil amendments become available only slowly in some cases application to the previous cover crop improves availability to the cash crop. Since some of these amendments can be expensive, they should be applied strategically within a rotation. Prior to the application of any of these materials, adjust soil pH to the desired range for the majority of crops within the rotation (generally 6.2 to 6.8). High or low pH will reduce the availability of phosphorus and many micronutrients.

Most composts contain relatively stable forms of organic matter and low levels of readily available nutrients. Some types, such as poultry compost, may contain high levels of nutrients compared to other organic fertility amendments, but not compared to commercial fertilizers. Good composts applied at specific points in a rotation can improve soil fertility in the long term by enhancing soil structure and tilth, improving soil water movement, and providing a slow-release fertility source. Usually, meeting the complete nitrogen needs of a crop by using only compost is difficult without also adding excessive phosphorus. Build-up of excessively high phosphorus levels can occur when composts based on animal manures are used at high rates (greater than 10 tons/acre) once or twice per year. Accumulation of excess P can damage neighboring bodies of water and stimulate weed growth (see “The Role of Crop Rotation in Weed Management”).

Micronutrients can be supplemented using foliar-type fertilizers, including seaweed extracts and borax (consult the Organic Materials Research Institute’s approved materials list for organically acceptable formulations, www.omri.org/OMRI_products_list.php). These can provide low levels of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, and iron. Foliar fertilizing must be managed carefully, since effectiveness depends on uptake of the micronutrients through the plant cuticle. Depending on application rates, environmental conditions, and plant maturity, foliar feeding can sometimes result in burning of leaves.

Rock powders (ground limestone, gypsum, granite dust, rock phosphate) and trace element mixes slowly release nutrients to plants. The more finely ground the powder, the sooner the minerals will be available to the crop due to a greater surface area of the powder available for microbial digestion and physical weathering. Like composts, rock powders cannot be used to provide immediate crop needs. They should be used as long-term sources of crop nutrients.

TABLE 3.4: A sample nutrient budget for nitrogen and phosphorus from an organic vegetable rotation

Putting It All Together: Nutrient Budgets During Crop Rotation

One strategy for reviewing the effects of a crop rotation on soil nutrients is to construct a nutrient budget. A nutrient budget can be complex or fairly simple, depending on its purpose. For simplicity, consider just soil N and P. Think of them as deposits in a soil fertility bank account. Most of these nutrients are tied up in long-term investments, in the form of organic matter. But a portion of the account is available for withdrawal. Assuming a soil is relatively fertile, the long-term goal is to maintain an approximately constant balance in the account, rather than to increase or decrease nutrient storage. As crops are removed, nutrients are withdrawn or exported from the system. As legumes, manures, composts, or other amendments are added to the soil, the nutrient bank balance increases. By examining rotations through time, a farmer can make general estimates of the increase or decrease in potentially available nutrients and change his or her management accordingly.

“Generally, the technique of using crop rotation for disease management is to grow non-host plants until the pathogen in the soil dies or its population is reduced to a level that will result in negligible crop damage.”

Consider the examples in tables 3.3 and 3.4. In the first example (table 3.3), periodic applications of manure to a long-term rotation resulted in moderate increases in soil nitrogen but did not help maintain soil phosphorous levels. Through each cycle of the five-year rotation, about 50 pounds of P was exported off the farm. Future crops may require an additional source of P. In the vegetable rotation (table 3.4), yearly compost additions led to a rapid buildup of soil nitrogen and phosphorous. Such high levels are not environmentally sound and may be prohibited in some states, depending on nutrient management regulations. Also notable in the vegetable rotation is the low level of nutrient export via these crops, compared with the agronomic crops (table 3.3). Excess nutrients in the vegetable rotation may leach out of or run off from the system eventually, even if cover crops or other cultural practices are used to minimize losses.

By reviewing the inputs and outputs of a rotation, general trends of nutrient accumulation or depletion can be detected. Although nutrient exports by crops or nutrient inputs via cover crops and other amendments can only be estimated (Appendix 1), these values and budgets will still point to potential problems in nutrient management within a crop rotation. This approach will not account for losses through leaching or soil erosion. It also does not include an estimate of the “starting” reserves of soil nutrients. History of management, inputs, and native soil organic matter levels in each field will all contribute to the starting reserve. With this information on the general trends of nutrient accumulation within a field, alternative rotations or different crops (including cover crops and green manures) may be considered to strategically capture, export, or contribute essential plant nutrients.

For further reading, see References 24, 42, 75, 92, 102, and 107.


The importance of soil biology

Sixty percent of all the world's nutrients applied to fields never make it to the plants. That is an astonishing number, considering the cost of fertilizers. It is also worrisome considering that phosphorus is expected to run out in the next few decades, and nitrogen is not too far behind. So what is happening?

Plants need biology in the soil to do its job before they can do theirs. Bacteria and fungi need to be present in soils to break down these valuable nutrients and convert them to a form the plants can uptake. It is the roots of the plants that provide the habitat for these microorganisms to live. Disturbing the root systems disturbs the biology. They starve to death without constant organic matter throughout the entire year. Diversity in the biology allows for resistance and resilience in the plants.

Different plants also have different nutrient needs. Grass crops such as wheat, barley and corn contain high amounts of carbon, but they require more nitrogen. Other plants fix nitrogen well such as broadleaf species like beans, peas and vetches. These different species contain microorganisms that are generalists, which can be found living in lots of different species, and specialists, which can only be found on specific species. Generalists and specialists all play key roles in the different nutrient cycles.

So where are all the nutrients going? A recent survey of more than 2,000 rivers and streams throughout the United States conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency found that 55 percent of them were in poor condition and a threat to aquatic habitat. Elevated levels of nutrients in these systems from farming practices, urban runoff and other human factors have caused eutrophication. Eutrophication leads to algae blooms that increase the water temperatures and lower the levels of dissolved oxygen. This is when we get fish kills. Eutrophication has increased so much that the Gulf of Mexico now has a "dead zone."

Soil biology can help us with these issues. The microbes are able to convert the nutrients to make them available for plants, but they also are able to convert them to an immobile form. This immobile form ties up the nutrients in the soil instead of letting them leach into our waterways and acts as a reserve nutrient source if needed.

Any amount of disturbance disrupts the habitat of the biology living in our soils. A no-till system lessens this disturbance while leaving organic matter for it to feed. Incorporating cover crops provides diverse, living root systems for those generalists and specialists to harness and convert our precious nutrients.

We spend a lot of money trying to increase yields and produce high-quality food, but we do not have to. Nature figured this out a long time ago, and she does it for free if we will allow her. People need to set the stage, and let plants and soil do what they are meant to do.

Editor's Note: Larson is with the Grand Forks County Soil Conservation District.


The Living Soil Handbook

Discovering how to meet the soil’s needs is the key task for every market gardener. In this comprehensive guide, Farmer Jesse Frost shares all he has learned through experience and experimentation with no-till practices on his home farm in Kentucky and from interviews and visits with highly successful market gardeners in his role as host of The No-Till Market Garden Podcast.

The Living Soil Handbook is centered around the three basic principles of no-till market gardening:

  • Disturb the soil as little as possible
  • Keep it covered as much as possible
  • Keep it planted as much as possible.

Farmer Jesse then guides readers in applying those principles to their own garden environment, with their own materials, to meet their own goals.

Beginning with an exploration of the importance of photosynthesis to living soil, Jesse provides in-depth information on:

  • Turning over beds
  • Using compost and mulch
  • Path management
  • Incorporating biology, maintaining fertility
  • Cover cropping
  • Diversifying plantings through intercropping
  • Production methods for seven major crops

Throughout, the book emphasizes practical information on all the best tools and practices for growers who want to build their livelihood around maximizing the health of their soil.

Farmer Jesse reminds growers that “as possible” is the mantra for protecting the living soil: disturb the soil as little as you possibly can in your context. He does not believe that growers should anguish over what does and does not qualify as “no-till.” If you are using a tool to promote soil life and biology, that’s the goal. Jesse’s goal with The Living Soil Handbook is to provide a comprehensive set of options, materials, and field-tested practices to inspire growers to design a soil-nurturing no-till system in their unique garden or farm ecosystem.

“[A] practical, informative debut. . . .Gardeners interested in sustainable agriculture will find this a great place to start.”—Publishers Weekly

“Frost offers a comprehensive, science-based, sympathetic, wholly practical guide to soil building, that most critical factor in vegetable gardening for market growers and home gardeners alike. A gift to any vegetable plot that will keep on giving.”—Booklist (starred review)

Reviews and Praise

“Over my years practicing no-till market gardening, I’ve come to truly appreciate listening to The No-Till Market Garden Podcast and Farmer Jesse’s exploration of no-till systems. Now, this research is inked into Jesse’s very well-written and valuable guide, The Living Soil Handbook. This book is a gold mine filled with tips, tricks, and effective practices you can apply to your crop itineraries. I advise any grower to follow Jesse’s mantra: A no-till system is not a dogma, it’s a direction.”—Jean-Martin Fortier, author of The Market Gardener

“The best way to produce healthier soils, fight climate change, and reduce work all at the same time is to disturb the soil less. The Living Soil Handbook shows growers how to do just that. I highly recommend this practical and beautifully designed book.”—Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

“In this wonderful new book, Jesse Frost offers a clear and friendly explanation of why and how you can grow successfully when your methods are fully in tune with nature’s processes. Beautifully illustrated by Jesse’s wife, Hannah Crabtree, The Living Soil Handbook provides a full range of experience-based advice to aspiring growers and gardeners on major topics such as soil fertility and mulches as well as small but important details like bed and path width. Jesse values practicality over dogma, and keeps it achievable: ‘Disturb the soil as little as possible.’”—Charles Dowding, creator of Charles Dowding’s No-Dig Gardening Course

The Living Soil Handbook is a must-read for growers who want to achieve the long-held organic objective of feeding crops by feeding the soil. It goes beyond the mechanics of no-till to explain why it’s important to keep the soil ‘as undisturbed, as well covered, and as fully planted as possible.’ With the understanding of why to do these things, growers can customize their soil care systems for any region. Whether or not your goal is to go completely no-till, Jesse Frost’s book is a great companion to help you figure out how to ‘disturb the soil as little as you possibly can in your context.’ With an emphasis on understanding soil ecosystems, this book allows growers to improvise their own solutions rooted in soil health.”—Andrew Mefferd, editor, Growing for Market magazine author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook and The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution

“Jesse Frost’s The Living Soil Handbook is a terrific, practical application of the no-till principles for which he and his No-Till Market Garden Podcast have become known and respected. Disturbing the soil as little as possible—even when managing garden paths, for example—is one theme of this book about letting the living soil live and how to do so. Beautifully illustrated, this is a great read full of useful advice that will perfect your growing game.”—Jeff Lowenfels, author of Teaming with Fungi

The Living Soil Handbook is a must-have resource for those who wish to reduce or eliminate tillage, build soil biology, intensify production, and create a more ecological, regenerative, and successful farm. Farmer Jesse integrates the experiences of a multitude of farmers and his years of research with pertinent soil science in this easy-to-read guide to help grow more resilient farms in the face of climate chaos. It all goes back to the soil and building life!”—Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser, founders and farmers, Singing Frogs Farm

“As a lifelong farmer who is skeptical of absolute practices and catchphrases like ‘no-till,’ I’m happy to say that Jesse Frost has done an excellent job of compiling resources and information to explain the tenets of healthy living soil. With a skillful, personable writing style, Jesse offers effective farming techniques and provides a compelling case to disturb the soil as little as possible as well as to keep it planted and covered as much as possible. The Living Soil Handbook is a great read for beginning and seasoned farmers alike.”—Clara Coleman, owner and operator, Four Season Farm creator of #RealFarmerCare

“Jesse Frost has made an invaluable addition to the nascent library of no-till market garden manuals. If you want to grow vegetables without tillage, read this book closely and reference it often. Like crops growing from a vibrant soil food web, Jesse’s insights pull from interactions with innovative no-till growers across the United States and beyond—and bear fruit worth savoring. Jesse has synthesized this incredible diversity into a comprehensive manual that takes no-till to a deeper level. I learned something new on almost every page. A magnificent union of information gathering and first-person know-how, The Living Soil Handbook is a must-read for every soil caretaker.”—Daniel Mays, author of The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm

“While no-till growing has been popular for amateur gardeners for some time, it is only more recently that commercial growers have embraced its potential. The Living Soil Handbook is beautifully clear, making both the complexity of soil biology and the technical crop detail engaging and accessible. Jesse Frost demonstrates the benefits of using no till methods and he also takes us through, in some detail, the range of methods possible at different scales. He is no starry-eyed evangelist though. He explores his failures as well as what has worked well, and points out areas where more research and trials are needed, for instance in successful crop termination. Though this book is aimed at the ecological market gardener, anyone with an interest in growing vegetables with the minimal impact on their soil will thoroughly enjoy and learn from Jesse’s sound advice.”—Ben Raskin, head of horticulture and agroforestry, Soil Association author of The Woodchip Handbook

The Living Soil Handbook speaks to Jesse Frost’s experimental and inquisitive nature whilst seeking out practical and reliable solutions. Garnering wisdom from growers in many regions, as well as from his own experience, Jesse delves deep into what I consider an optimal approach to annual vegetable production. This book explores the pioneering no-dig market gardening system with deep woodchip pathways that I have established at Ridgedale, along with many other complementary approaches for achieving the same outcomes: thriving soil biology, practical workflows, and abundant harvests. It proves once again that it is our pattern-thinking that is important, and that we have a multitude of solutions at our disposal. We are microbe farmers, after all, and this book is a great addition to the literature to help you achieve beautiful and bountiful results.”—Richard Perkins, author of Regenerative Agriculture and Ridgedale Farm Builds

Publishers Weekly—

"[A] practical, informative debut. . . .Gardeners interested in sustainable agriculture will find this a great place to start."

Booklist Starred Review—

"Author Frost offers a comprehensive, science-based, sympathetic, wholly practical guide to soil building, that most critical factor in vegetable gardening for market growers and home gardeners alike. A gift to any vegetable plot that will keep on giving."

Reviews and Praise

“Over my years practicing no-till market gardening, I’ve come to truly appreciate listening to The No-Till Market Garden Podcast and Farmer Jesse’s exploration of no-till systems. Now, this research is inked into Jesse’s very well-written and valuable guide, The Living Soil Handbook. This book is a gold mine filled with tips, tricks, and effective practices you can apply to your crop itineraries. I advise any grower to follow Jesse’s mantra: A no-till system is not a dogma, it’s a direction.”—Jean-Martin Fortier, author of The Market Gardener

“The best way to produce healthier soils, fight climate change, and reduce work all at the same time is to disturb the soil less. The Living Soil Handbook shows growers how to do just that. I highly recommend this practical and beautifully designed book.”—Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables

“In this wonderful new book, Jesse Frost offers a clear and friendly explanation of why and how you can grow successfully when your methods are fully in tune with nature’s processes. Beautifully illustrated by Jesse’s wife, Hannah Crabtree, The Living Soil Handbook provides a full range of experience-based advice to aspiring growers and gardeners on major topics such as soil fertility and mulches as well as small but important details like bed and path width. Jesse values practicality over dogma, and keeps it achievable: ‘Disturb the soil as little as possible.’”—Charles Dowding, creator of Charles Dowding’s No-Dig Gardening Course

The Living Soil Handbook is a must-read for growers who want to achieve the long-held organic objective of feeding crops by feeding the soil. It goes beyond the mechanics of no-till to explain why it’s important to keep the soil ‘as undisturbed, as well covered, and as fully planted as possible.’ With the understanding of why to do these things, growers can customize their soil care systems for any region. Whether or not your goal is to go completely no-till, Jesse Frost’s book is a great companion to help you figure out how to ‘disturb the soil as little as you possibly can in your context.’ With an emphasis on understanding soil ecosystems, this book allows growers to improvise their own solutions rooted in soil health.”—Andrew Mefferd, editor, Growing for Market magazine author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook and The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution

“Jesse Frost’s The Living Soil Handbook is a terrific, practical application of the no-till principles for which he and his No-Till Market Garden Podcast have become known and respected. Disturbing the soil as little as possible—even when managing garden paths, for example—is one theme of this book about letting the living soil live and how to do so. Beautifully illustrated, this is a great read full of useful advice that will perfect your growing game.”—Jeff Lowenfels, author of Teaming with Fungi

The Living Soil Handbook is a must-have resource for those who wish to reduce or eliminate tillage, build soil biology, intensify production, and create a more ecological, regenerative, and successful farm. Farmer Jesse integrates the experiences of a multitude of farmers and his years of research with pertinent soil science in this easy-to-read guide to help grow more resilient farms in the face of climate chaos. It all goes back to the soil and building life!”—Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser, founders and farmers, Singing Frogs Farm

“As a lifelong farmer who is skeptical of absolute practices and catchphrases like ‘no-till,’ I’m happy to say that Jesse Frost has done an excellent job of compiling resources and information to explain the tenets of healthy living soil. With a skillful, personable writing style, Jesse offers effective farming techniques and provides a compelling case to disturb the soil as little as possible as well as to keep it planted and covered as much as possible. The Living Soil Handbook is a great read for beginning and seasoned farmers alike.”—Clara Coleman, owner and operator, Four Season Farm creator of #RealFarmerCare

“Jesse Frost has made an invaluable addition to the nascent library of no-till market garden manuals. If you want to grow vegetables without tillage, read this book closely and reference it often. Like crops growing from a vibrant soil food web, Jesse’s insights pull from interactions with innovative no-till growers across the United States and beyond—and bear fruit worth savoring. Jesse has synthesized this incredible diversity into a comprehensive manual that takes no-till to a deeper level. I learned something new on almost every page. A magnificent union of information gathering and first-person know-how, The Living Soil Handbook is a must-read for every soil caretaker.”—Daniel Mays, author of The No-Till Organic Vegetable Farm

“While no-till growing has been popular for amateur gardeners for some time, it is only more recently that commercial growers have embraced its potential. The Living Soil Handbook is beautifully clear, making both the complexity of soil biology and the technical crop detail engaging and accessible. Jesse Frost demonstrates the benefits of using no till methods and he also takes us through, in some detail, the range of methods possible at different scales. He is no starry-eyed evangelist though. He explores his failures as well as what has worked well, and points out areas where more research and trials are needed, for instance in successful crop termination. Though this book is aimed at the ecological market gardener, anyone with an interest in growing vegetables with the minimal impact on their soil will thoroughly enjoy and learn from Jesse’s sound advice.”—Ben Raskin, head of horticulture and agroforestry, Soil Association author of The Woodchip Handbook

The Living Soil Handbook speaks to Jesse Frost’s experimental and inquisitive nature whilst seeking out practical and reliable solutions. Garnering wisdom from growers in many regions, as well as from his own experience, Jesse delves deep into what I consider an optimal approach to annual vegetable production. This book explores the pioneering no-dig market gardening system with deep woodchip pathways that I have established at Ridgedale, along with many other complementary approaches for achieving the same outcomes: thriving soil biology, practical workflows, and abundant harvests. It proves once again that it is our pattern-thinking that is important, and that we have a multitude of solutions at our disposal. We are microbe farmers, after all, and this book is a great addition to the literature to help you achieve beautiful and bountiful results.”—Richard Perkins, author of Regenerative Agriculture and Ridgedale Farm Builds

Publishers Weekly—

"[A] practical, informative debut. . . .Gardeners interested in sustainable agriculture will find this a great place to start."

Booklist Starred Review—

"Author Frost offers a comprehensive, science-based, sympathetic, wholly practical guide to soil building, that most critical factor in vegetable gardening for market growers and home gardeners alike. A gift to any vegetable plot that will keep on giving."


Building Healthy Pasture Soils

Soil fertility in pastures goes well beyond a simple discussion of soil samples, fertilizers, and the nutrients needed to produce high yields. Rather, soil health is an ecosystem concept: it is holistic and complex, and involves regenerative, adaptive management. Managing grazing and harnessing the inherent abilities of living, healthy soil can promote productive pastures and animals.

With this type of management, we are observational and not reactive: we are looking at soil indicators such as aggregation, species diversity, and cover. We are looking for telltale signs of soil ill-health, such as run-off, compaction, and bare ground. Within a regenerative system, we are interested in the fundamentals: what drives the whole system. Soil microorganisms need to be fed with a constant diet of carbon from the sun. These microbes need habitat and a balanced diet, and this is accomplished through plant diversity, living roots, and soil cover all year. The saying ‘build it and they will come’ applies here, and if we make sure the microbes are fed, they will do the work of building soil health and fertility for us.

Let’s consider the farming practices that feed soil microbes and help build healthy soil. In essence, we want to increase aggregation, contribute soil organic matter, increase biodiversity, buffer soil temperature, and minimize soil compaction and disturbance. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, not really, if we break these objectives down into some basic principles. Let’s take a quick look at the principles that will define our pasture soil management practices.

Soils that are well aggregated with adequate organic matter are resilient and can sustain crops with minimal input. Credit – Robyn Metzger, NCAT

Minimizing tillage preserves soil structure, encourages aggregation, and keeps soil carbon in the soil profile where it belongs. Tillage brings a flush of oxygen into the soil that spurs microbes into a feeding frenzy on carbon molecules, resulting in carbon dioxide release. We reduce tillage through the use of perennial pasture and minimum-tillage, or no-till, cover crops.

Maintaining living roots in the soil for as much of the year as possible feeds soil microorganisms all year. Also, by maintaining living roots and leaving grazing residual, we cover the soil all year long, forming an “armor” to protect the soil from moisture and nutrient loss.

Maintaining species diversity is achieved with cover crop mixes and the use of diverse perennial pasture mixes. Try to incorporate warm season and cool season plants it is a good idea to plant both grasses and broadleaf plants in the same fields.

Manage grazing by planning for an appropriate grazing recovery period on your paddocks, keeping in mind that plants need various recovery periods depending on the species, the time of year, and the soil moisture content. Overgrazing (not allowing adequate recovery) reduces root mass, photosynthesis, and sequestered carbon in the soil, thereby decreasing soil life. Proper grazing builds soil.

Finally, put animal and grazing impact to work for you. Livestock provides nutrient cycling in pastures, contributing to soil organic matter, and the grazing action on forage plants encourages root growth and root exudation of plant sugars that feed soil microorganisms.
For livestock producers, this boils down to a combination of perennial pasture, cover crops in rotation, and good grazing management. Perennial pastures, because of the lack of soil disturbance and permanent cover, are higher in carbon and organic matter than tilled crop fields. This biological system has a stable habitat to conduct business, and the nutrient cycles can sustain themselves. However, by adding livestock, we get a multiplier effect on soil health, even in systems that are cropped with a cash crop as part of the rotation.

Grazing is known to increase soil carbon and nitrogen in the soil. As an animal grazes, it sends a signal to the plant to pump out sugars through its roots into the surrounding soil. These root exudates, sugars developed by the plant through photosynthesis, are food sources for the microorganisms in the soil. The action of grazing jump-starts the soil food web and increases nutrient cycling, making nutrients available to plants.

Diverse cover crops build soil health while providing high quality forage for grazing livestock. Credit – Lee Rinehart, NCAT

Cover crops are known to benefit the soil by feeding soil life, buffering temperatures, and increasing water efficiency. Many crop farmers are familiar with cover crops, but with livestock and cover crops in combination, you have all the tools you need to build soil health. Grazing is often the missing link for crop farmers. By putting animals on cover crops you can close the loop and develop a more resilient system.

Think of livestock as biological “roller-crimpers,” or cover crop terminators. Combining the below-ground effects of grazing on root exudates with the biological contribution from animals far exceeds the benefits of cover crops alone. Because the microbes in the rumen are similar to the microbes in the soil, ruminant animals prime the soil with biological life, contributing to the health of the soil.

If you’re a farmer who has a predominately cash-crop-oriented income, it may be attractive to graze cover crops in rotation with cash crops. Annual crops can be rotated to perennial pasture every few years. You can also incorporate grazing of cover crops in a strictly cash crop system, as Gabe Brown has demonstrated. His fall biennial crop > warm season cover crop > fall biennial crop > cash crop rotation works well in his system. In this system, you only have one year off from cash crop, but you get three cover crops incorporated, all grazed. This cover crop sequence works very well to “prime” depleted soils.

Managed Grazing Tutorial

Interested in finding out more about how managing your livestock can improve your soil health, your pasture condition, and your bottom line? The ATTRA Managed Grazing tutorial features sessions taught by ATTRA specialists who are also livestock producers. They share years of experience managing their own pastures to inspire you to start wherever you are and build or refine your own managed grazing systems. The tutorial includes detailed presentations and real-world examples including conducting a forage inventory, fencing and water, managing the mature stand, intensifying managed grazing, stockpiling grass, managing fertility, and monitoring. Access the Managed Grazing tutorial free online at ATTRA.

It seems like there is a lot involved in managing pasture fertility holistically… and there is. The biological processes are complex and they interrelate with weather, moisture, season, crop selection, and livestock. Even soil scientists do not understand everything that goes on in the soil, but we do have a pretty good idea of the processes, and we know that biology is the basis for soil function. We also know that energy drives the whole system.

Transitioning to a biological system from a chemical system is a slow process, and it’s important to recognize that it will take several years for soils to turn around. Be patient, and as Ray Archuleta, a soils conservationist with NRCS, says, “Have the integrity to believe that nature will work with you over time, that it’s going to work.” This is important, because there are going to be some problems that crop up. It could be anything from decreased weaning weights on calves, to weed problems, to livestock parasites. Expect these problems to occur, because you’re dealing with a biological system that is trying to get back into balance. Don’t jump ship at the first obstacle and succumb to the temptation to revert to an input-based system. Resilience and the integrity to stay focused will pay off in the years to come as the biology builds to the point of sustainability.

So, how do you get started? Remember the three practices we spoke of earlier: perennial pasture, cover crops, and grazing management. These practices build soil carbon, which is the key to fostering soil health and plant fertility. Making the transition takes time and attention, but the benefits are long term. Think of it as an investment in your soil, just like you invest in livestock and equipment. And as you begin this journey of renewal, remember that it’s a biological system that is fully dependent on the almost incomprehensible diversity of life and life processes that happen unseen, among the roots just under the soil surface.

It took decades for your soil to degenerate, so expect several years for your farm to recover. Don’t make the mistake of expecting to reverse the tide in one year. As you transition, keep in mind the following concepts: when you feed soil microbes, you feed the plant—productivity is based on the relationships between plants, soil, and animals. The process of nutrient transfer is kept strong by adding organic matter. Reduce your off-farm inputs to reduce cost, and transition slowly. Have integrity that it will work by staying the course even when the system seems to crash. Observe and adapt. And if your soil is low in carbon, don’t expect it to work. To fix it, start by putting in one or two years of cover crops and graze it appropriately to get the system primed. You might be surprised by the results.

Managing for carbon by keeping soils covered with growing plants and with managed defoliation through grazing, builds the organic matter that provides the fertility pastures need to be productive.


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The Importance of Sulfur in Your Soil

Sulfur in soil has a very interesting history. For the longest time, the majority of sulfur actually came from air pollution. Before we started controlling sulfur dioxide about 40 years ago, it would just fall out of the sky. One textbook states that up to 45 pounds per acre of sulfur would be deposited per year. Sulfur deficiency was very rare. Once we began controlling air pollution through cap and trade programs, we quickly started experiencing sulfur deficiencies in different soils.

Sulfur is critical in the creation of aromatic compounds—also termed secondary metabolites—in the onion family. When onions make your eyes burn or when garlic has a strong flavor and aromatic scent, that is sulfur. Researchers have found that most crops prefer a sulfur to nitrogen ratio of about 15:1. But cruciferous plants, like the cabbage plant family, actually prefer 3:1. The amino acids in alliums and the production of cruciferous plans are maximized with a lot of sulfur.

Sulfur in the Soil

Sulfur is an anion. In the soil solution, it is very leachable. Sulfur levels on a soil test indicate how much precipitation an area receives, or at least how much water is running through the soil profile. If sulfur is low, that means it's getting leached out. In those types of soils, the majority of sulfur is actually supplied through organic matter. 90% of sulfur in soil is found in organic matter and as biology mineralizes the organic matter, it releases sulfur for plants. While plants take up about as much sulfur as phosphate, much more of it leaches every year than phosphorus.

Tip #1: If you have a really good crop, start focusing on tracking what your sulfur to nitrogen ratio is.

Sulfur and nitrogen are critical in amino acids and proteins in plants. They are partners in almost every protein in a plant. Optimal sulfur to nitrogen ratios have been found for many crops. Often times when nitrogen is too high, it makes plants much more susceptible to sulfur deficiencies.

Tip #2: If you're in a high precipitation place like the east coast or the west coast, an addition of sulfur every year is a really really good idea.

I prefer gypsum, magnesium sulfate, potassium sulfate, or langbeinite (also known as K-Mag) as good organic sources of sulfur. It depends on what cations you need because sulfate is actually a carrier in most of these products to bring in other catatonic nutrients. I almost never recommend elemental sulfur.

If you think you have a sulfur deficiency, you could foliar apply elemental sulfur and see what happens. But otherwise, elemental sulfur is usually used to decrease soil pH because when elemental sulfur goes into the soil, it's oxidized by soil biology, creating sulfuric acid, which lowers the pH. It also attaches to cations and over time it is leached out. I personally believe that high soil pH (in the 7.0-7.6 range) is fine, even though optimal pH is in the sixes. When your pH is above 8, your soil is likely calcareous. Many agronomists and researchers have found that you cannot reduce pH very easily in the longterm in a calcareous soil. At 10 tons per acre, elemental sulfur temporarily decreases the pH, but comes right back up after a couple of years.

Did 10,000 lbs of sulfur lower the pH?
Short answer: NO.
There is too much lime in the soil profile to reduce pH of calcareous soil. This is also a loam soil. Plus, who wants to buy 10,000 lbs of sulfur for a few tenths of a pH drop that only last a few years?
If you want to lower the pH, ask yourself "why?" If you do, I suggest acidifying the SOIL SOLUTION with your irrigation water instead of changing the chemistry of the bulk soil. Sulfur burners are great for this.

I don't really ever recommend elemental sulfur because usually I'm applying or recommending gypsum or magnesium sulfate, something like that, which brings in plenty of sulfur. On the Logan Labs paste test, which is looking at the soil solution, the textbook definition of sufficiency is 3-5ppm. But honestly, I like it to be significantly more than that. Deficiencies of sulfur can physically manifest as the whole plant becoming chlorotic. There's a light pale yellowing on the whole plant. Unlike nitrogen, it doesn't just show up at the bottom. It'll show up on the whole plant.

From my understanding, sulfur toxicity will never happen. What happens when sulfur gets too high is that it becomes the primary culprit in increasing soluble salts, or electrical conductivity. If you look at a soil with high soluble salts, there is likely a lot of sulfates. I've seen sulfur on the Logan Labs paste test upwards of 150 ppm. This is too high in my opinion because it pushes the soluble salts (EC) too high. When that soil dries out, your plants will likely experience osmotic stress. I don't have a specific target. I strive for sufficiency first, and then balance with all of the other nutrients and have a healthy level of soluble salts. Usually sulfur will follow suit. It also totally depends on what crop you're growing.

If you'd like to start testing your soil or water, you can get tests here.

If you have any contributions, thoughts, or observations on sulfur, please comment below.


How Can You Get Microorganisms in Soil to Rapidly Increase?

Agri-Gro's Products: Turf Formula, Foliar Blend and Boutiful Harvest Products increase soil microbes that already exist in the soil by 3400% in 24 hours and by 5000% in 72 hours after application. You can't get this with organic teas!

This increase breaks down organic matter, plant stubble, and raw soil elements much faster than nature alone. It delivers nutrients to plants that would otherwise not be available. 

These products are prebiotics that specifically increase root growth and numbers, increase plant health, support water intake, promote beneficial microbe growth and decrease soil pathogens. (University of Missouri/Colombia)

Myth #1: The Myth of Soil Sterilization from Synthetic Fertilizers
There are a lot of articles warning how synthetic fertilizers are sterilizing our soils and making the soil addicted to synthetic nutrients. Soil microbiology research has already proven this claim to be false. Find out what the truth is and just how wrong these claims are.

Myth #3: The Myth of Using Gypsum for Lawns to Raise Soil pH
Gypsum for lawns is often used as a liming material to sweeten the soil. However, many people do not realize that it has no affect on soil pH. Find out why and what important function gypsum has in the turf industry.

Myth #4: Grass Cutting Height Doesn't Matter
Myth: Any lawn can look like a golf course. Low cutting your lawn may be hazardous to the health of your grass. While some grasses can be cut low, others can be seriously injured or even killed. Find out the truth about grass cutting heights.

Myth #5: The Truth and Misconceptions About Fertilizer Numbers
Understanding fertilizer numbers are for geeks and professionals, right? Wrong. Knowing their meaning and how to use them properly is the first step that separates the experienced from the inexperienced. Click here to learn the truth and misconceptions about these numbers.


Watch the video: Soil Fertility - Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Building Soil Fertility (September 2022).


Comments:

  1. Amycus

    In it all charm!

  2. Alexandre

    Bravo, remarkable idea

  3. Woodruff

    For everything there is something to write, in general it is not yet clear what to take and ge, tell me pliz, thanks to the author for the stat.



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