Adding micronutrients to the soil
The big chemical
companies are now considering adding micronutrients into their chemical
fertilizer mixes along with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
As usual, I don't think that's the best option.
Instead, I like the idea of building up the soil by adding naturally
occurring micronutrients through compost, manure, and mulch.
A related option, favored by permaculturalists, is to use dynamic
accumulators to add micronutrients back
into their topsoil. These plants are able to latch onto
in the soil, either by sending roots deep into the subsoil where the
micronutrients are plentiful, or by simply having a greater affinity to
micronutrients. Either way, the dynamic accumulators end up with
levels of certain micronutrients in their leaves. We can cut
leaves off and use them as mulch or compost around micronutrient
deficient plants, refreshing the micronutrient content of the soil.
Comfrey is everyone's
favorite dynamic accumulator since it
concentrates silicon, nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and
iron. In my young forest garden, I've planted comfrey around my
nectarine tree. As the comfrey gets to be a foot tall or so, I
it all down and let it rot back into the soil, feeding my tree.
to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the
RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.