The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Poor Man's Fertilizer

SnowBoy was that groundhog right.  I've always heard that snow grabs nitrogen out of the air, fertilizing the ground.  But is it really true?  A search of the internet turned up these interesting facts....

...snow and rain probably deposit the same amount of nitrogen.  So, rain is the poor man's fertilizer too.

...the amount of nitrogen deposited by rain or snow doesn't depend on the number of inches of precipitation.  In fact, one study showed that as the amount of precipitation increased, the concentration of nitrogen in that precipitation decreased.  In other words, rain or snow washes the nitrogen out of the air --- if it keeps raining or snowing after a certain point, the available nitrogen up there gets depleted.

So I guess I'll just have to enjoy the beauty of snow and not count on masses of fertilizer!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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