19th March 2018 at 5:40 am #45710
Here in the southern hemisphere South East Qld I love seeing the pristine beds of compost topping and ordered rows of green goodness of the spring /summer plantings of the northern hemisphere gardens. It just does not work for me here as the heat and the sun just sucks the moisture out of the top 50 centimetres so quickly the amount of water I have to put down is prohibitive.
I was suffering from the situation whereby my compost is homemade and fits all the consistency requirements that good compost should have but due to the harsh conditions it dried out far too quickly and like all good compost it will take awhile to soak up the water when it’s dried out which meant I was getting far too much water wastage as it ran off.
I am going to try lucerne top mulch on top of the compost to see if that helps for moisture retention.19th March 2018 at 8:09 am #45713
Russell I quite believe this and support your lucerne mulch idea. I say it often and it gets lost in translation, compost mulches are best for temperate climates. If we use a lucerne mulch, the slug numbers increase underneath. So it all depends where you are.
Though I have had feedback of success with compost mulch in Arizona!19th March 2018 at 1:21 pm #45723
That’s good to hear of success in Arizona mate I have been adjusting and refining my compost consistency and finish so maybe that might be part of their success as I have been attempting a very “clean” finish no large unbroken down biomass As the majority of the garden is under netting to ease pest pressure, snail and the like are fairly much excluded so reading your take on using lucerne mulch I am glad to know it could be a viable option in the no dig garden.
I was also interested to read you also add the biodynamic application 500 as I have just ordered my first batch from http://biodynamics.net.au to add to the gardens. Was the difference notable and worthwhile in conjunction with the great compost you guys seem to use?19th March 2018 at 2:25 pm #45725
That is interesting to hear, nice pic and a question that is hard to answer, about the b.d. preparations. I have not done a measured trial so have no proof of effect, but it just makes sense to me.
That feeling is reinforced by conversations with biodynamic farmers, who use the prep.’s and often very little compost (too many acres!), yet report a marked and unexpected improvement in soil structure and crop health.
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