Sunday, 23 October 2016

October 2016 (2)

I'm seriously beginning to question the need for the traditional rotation of crops in a vegetable garden.  As I see it, if the soil's microbe population is healthy, the plants grown in it will be healthy.  

When you sow seed or plant seedlings, the plant's roots will go looking for soluble nutrients in the soil, and it will find them in good organic soil.  Once the plant is established, however, the main game is plant interaction with microbes to extract nutrients from the soils parent rock.  At this stage the plant no longer depends on the surrounding soil's soluble nutrients, and will flourish even if there are serious shortages. If you plant them in jiffy pots raised in compost in an Eco propagator, they will not need the initial supply of soluble nutrients and will start the symbiotic process immediately.

Plant pathogens only build up in soil which is anaerobic or deficient in beneficial microbes.  I don't think it matters if a particular crop variety stays in the soil for a long time or is grown repeatedly in the same area provided the soil remains healthy and full of beneficial microbes.

I have begun to grow plants in the "wrong bed" when space availability makes that convenient.  I don't worry about soil pH since I believe the plant and its symbionts control the soil chemistry in the plants rhizosphere.  I add nothing but high quality aerobic compost to the soil, I don't dig it, and I don't leave it bare without any plant cover or at least I leave it heavily mulched.