2015: Land reclamation
Chemically Farmed for 50 Years
The soil needed work. Just trying to dig down past 6 inches was near impossible, horrible hard pan. The mineral make up of the soil , NPK was not that bad, of course it was low in nitrogen because there was minimal micro organisms, with fare organic matter count 5.6%, the natural slow release fertilizer, to reduce the movement of mobile nutrients. Organisms hate it when the soil gets turned. Just think it is like their whole house gets flipped around and broken up.
Cultivated soils typically have high bacterial and protozoa numbers, with low fungal counts. Reason being is fungus hyphae need space to grow, taking time to build their structures, and with every turn of the soil they get broken up. The more fungus you have, the more nutrients gets stored within them, every time they die, their remains are like a slow release fertilizer. While bacteria and especially protozoa act as destroyers in the soil, eating to excrete nutrients.
This interaction could be seen when the soil was first cultivated, lost of earth worms, which shows a high protozoa count, their favorite food source. meaning the soil was quickly eating though nutrients and organic matter. Not a good sign when starting off. Needing to slow down the system, for a more controlled release. Solution, stop turning the soil. So that is what we did!
Only time will tell on how the biological system breaks the chemical farming chain. Stay tuned!