15

Legumes are often used for this purpose. From Wikipedia: Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. And Within legume nodules, nitrogen gas from the atmosphere is converted into ammonia, which is then assimilated into amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), nucleotides (...


13

Leaves are good compost if they are shredded. If left as is on garden beds or lawns they tend to clump and can smother the smaller perennials. To do my fall clean up I put a bagger on the mower and go at it. I can put up to six inches (12 cm) of fluffy shredded leaves on top of rhubarb and by next June or July the worms have eaten it up. They will do the ...


9

Have you had a lot of rain recently? I find that mine are tasteless if we get a lot of rain (or I overwater them) just as they are ripening.


8

Potassium is easily obtained via wood (or other plant material) fire ashes - "pot-ash" is the source of the name potassium (and while "potash" is now used more to refer to mined material, the ashes were the original source that the mined material is also named after.)


8

I don't know of anything ubiquitous off-hand in the kitchen that is both high in potassium and ready to use on plants without composting or some other such. Kelp is supposed to have some. So, maybe if you have kelp in the kitchen, it could work. If you have any potassium bicarbonate (used for leavening) in your kitchen, that might work, but I don't know how ...


8

Interesting question. There are definitely ways to speed up growth, like fine-tuning soil for optimal growth. For example taking the time to test soil and amend it with any deficient macro- or micro-nutrients would improve forest/tree growth. There will probably be trade-offs in environmental benefits trees that are "rushed". The tree quality itself may or ...


7

If you are going to do what you ask, use human and pet wastes to fertilize your 'fruits and vegetables', there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 1. Processing waste material Human wastes can and have been used to fertilize crops. The city of Milwaukee sells Milorganite to farmers, which is just processed human waste from the city. A good minimum ...


7

Not unless you particularly fancy a dose of e-coli, worms, parasites and a host of other enteric nasties you could be infected with from using it. Generally speaking, manures from herbivores are okay, but even those must be composted prior to use, so composted animal manures are fine - but only if you're not growing root crops such as carrots or parsnips, ...


7

First, I have to say that many of these are so similar, you really won't find a lot of pros and cons between them. They are very similar, and though some might do better than others in certain situations, I haven't really found a reason to differentiate when using as a soil helper, and they all work. Azomite: Can cost over twice what basalt or glacial rock ...


7

They are suggesting incorporating sulfur to lower the ph of the soil. The sulfur will become sulfuric acid in the presence of water. If the soil had a ph of over 8 or you were a commercial farmer this would be a viable solution but would have to be done yearly. Your soil ph of 7.4 is not extremely alkaline. Although most vegetables prefer a ph of 5.5 to 6....


7

An article at slate.com describes how food labs measure calories, and where the calorie numbers come from on food labels. It's good for background info on the process. Unless you have a remarkably well-stocked and well-equipped lab in your basement, you're not going to be able to test vitamin content at home. As far as I can tell, literature dealing with ...


7

There's no particular reason to think the nutrient level would be high - the only way to know is to do a soil test - contact your local agricultural extension office and get a soil test kit, follow the instructions for collecting samples, send it off, then you'll know what you have and what you don't, and how much. While blueberries are definitely out, many ...


6

The NPK of any home made compost is usually impossible to tell, but that's not the point of making compost, Alchemist. Composted materials, once well rotted, provide high levels of humus for the soil. This improves the soil environment, which means you have greater levels of soil bio diversity and fertility, thus improving any plant's accessibility to ...


6

Aside from some sort of hormone type application, I would think you just need to make sure they have enough Nitrogen. It is the Nitrogen that forms Amino Acids, which then build protein.


6

There are lots of varieties of strawberries, many of which are (like a lot of produce) specifically valued because of how well they'll ship. What they often lack though is taste. I'm going to guess, however, that since you've had this strawberry patch for a few years you have had good tasting strawberries from this patch in the past. Berries need enough ...


6

There are many potential problems that could exist in poor soil and there are endless types of plants that can help repair poor soil. In your example of "near-barren lawn", one potentially serious problem you are likely to have is soil compaction. If that is the case, then all solutions you attempt may fail until you directly address that issue. If you ...


6

It does depend on the plant. For most (dicot) flowers, veggies, etc that you will probably be growing from seed, the plant begins uptaking nutrient within a day of germination, often before soil break. However, the roots are very fragile, and cannot handle too much yet (such as the amounts of nutrients found in fertilizers). Usually the seed stores (aka ...


6

Well you could in solution, but I wouldn't advise it. If your plants are growing well anyway, sugar might just kill them. Sugar molecules don't pass directly into the plant, so will build up in the soil in the pot, and cause problems later if you always add sugar. Sugar also directly feeds microbes in the soil - some of these may be beneficial, but some may ...


6

I suspect that MOST of the cost is that this is a hassle/extra-labor item for the farmer (buying special boxes to put watermelons into, putting the boxes on the melons, etc.), rather than anything having to do with number of fruits per plant. It's a niche product and they will try to recover those costs as much as possible. Thinning/reducing the number of ...


6

If you are gardening for fun not for profit, its not that important to focus that much on "PH". Your land is unique. You can't come up with the perfect solution the first year. It will take time before you know what to plant and when and where. So you will have to make several tries and be a good observer. If you can afford it, by a truckful of organic ...


6

Wow, a runaway bamboo forest, must be nice! No soil can be ruined except by being covered with asphalt or concrete or 'landscape fabric' and dumping biocides on it...nutrients or rather chemicals for photosynthesis are rarely found in soil. They are in the bio mass. That is why we humans need to learn how to judiciously add those critical chemicals to the ...


5

It may have been caused by drifting of sulphur based fungicide. You said you may have treated your nectarine tree, which is ten yards away. This easily could have affected the flavor of the blackberry leaves. Especially as they have lots of flat area, and hardly any mass, it would be much more noticeable on the leaves than the berries.


5

Yes, living plants do provide for bacteria and fungi and other soil organisms while they are alive and thriving. Plants need bacteria, fungi and bacteria, fungi need plants. They've got a symbiotic relationship as well as a biotrophic and necrotrophic relationship. A few reports I've read give plants credit for a 40% addition of carbon around the roots to ...


5

This may indicate it is getting too much nitrogen and is focusing on growing foliage. Many factors could be causing it generally, but larger sized plant makes me think it's nitrogen. Blossom Drop


5

Leaving dead leaves on top of grass for too long can actually kill your grass. The grass needs the rays from the sun to give it strength and to help it grow. You could take the leaves and put it in some composite pen or composter and take whatever you have in the composter the following year to add to flowers beds, etc. But leaving it on top of grass and ...


5

I had this same problem in zone 7 USA. I checked with the local agriculture guy and he said it was probably due to zinc deficiency. He advised applying zinc and 10-10-10 fertilizer in February. I did that and it seems to be helping. I picked up a bunch yesterday that Hurricane Matthew blew off this week and while green they were fully developed. I will ...


5

Your question implies an existing tree. But have you considered getting a new tree? Paulownia tomentosa (Empress Tree) is one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet, rivalling Normandy Poplar. It will reach over a dozen feet after just a couple years, and may reach 40' in a dozen years or so. It has wonderful purple flowers that come out in the spring ...


4

There is evidence that nitrogen fixing plants such as clover and some beans do improve nitrogen levels if the roots are left in place, but generally speaking, plants don't improve the soil while they're growing - they improve the soil when they're dying, hence a green crop, ploughed in, works in that way. Biomass or humus rich materials added to soil keep ...


4

Growing apples from seed does not usually meet people's expectations. They are not likely to be successfully grown indoors over several years and are very unlikely to bear any fruit. light requirements are high and it's difficult to match them without high pressure sodium or other high intensity lights. seedlings take longer to get to fruit bearing age (...


4

Guano works principally by improving the soil, and it does that by increasing micro bio diversity and certain synergistic chemical processes, all of which enables your plants to take up more nutrients more easily; it also improves soil structure. Depending on the guano NPK, it may also feed plants directly. The only thing you have to be careful of is that it ...


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