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Bryan Jasons

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since Feb 06, 2013
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Recent posts by Bryan Jasons

Thanks for sharing this. I browsed through and didn't see anything on Quinoa, maybe it would be a good cash crop/calorie crop for saline soils? We need heat tolerant varieties for wider spread adoption though.

"...many varieties can grow in salt concentrations as high as those found in seawater (40 mS cm−1), and four lines have been identified with even higher tolerance."
7 years ago
Do we know that gypsum when added will do nothing useful in sandy soil? It has some properties unrelated to CEC or soil nutrients, e.g. making aluminum insoluble.

How do we know that anything added will be leached in a sandy soil? Isn't calcium relatively insoluble? Wouldn't dealing with sub soil problems require some leaching? Is a high CEC bad is this context? How do we know it's harmful to oceans or watersheds? Maybe there is clay in the subsoil, who knows.. There are clearly conflicting claims out there, even just regarding Al specifically :

"Gypsum can increase leaching of aluminum, which can detoxify soils but also contaminates
nearby watersheds."


"The application of gypsum or lime + gypsum lowered the levels of exchangeable Al; also, the low proportion of Al in outflow solutions suggests the immobilization of Al as a solid phase. Except for exchangeable Al, the gypsum amendment increases the proportion of all forms of Al extracted (bound to organic matter, sorbed to, oxalate and citrate) with various selected reagents relative to unamended samples. The amount of Al extracted increases with increase of gypsum added. The gypsum or lime + gypsum amendments increased soil productivity."

Also, the importance of being holistic and thorough - like Coleman or Soloman are - isn't lost on me. But I never planned on using this area for vegetables; I was thinking cover crops, sweet potatoes, millet or some other easy to grow crop that I have experience with. I already have vegetables gardens with mulch and cover crops being used in other places.
7 years ago
"In many highly weathered soils crop exploitation of subsoil moisture reserves is severely curtailed by toxic levels of Al."

"...Even after 16 yr, the gypsum effects were still clearly visible. Exchangeable Ca and SO4 were higher down the soil profile in the gypsum than in the control treatment. A complementary reduction in exchangeable Al was observed in the gypsum treatment to the 80-cm depth. However, pH was not greatly altered down the profile. This amelioration of the effects of subsoil acidity was reflected in improved crop yields of both corn (29–50%) and alfalfa (≈50%) on the gypsum treatments. Because the gypsum effect is so long-lasting, its use as a subsoil acidity ameliorant becomes highly economic because the initially high cost can be amortized over an extended period of time."

"Highly statistically significant and economically profitable yield responses were obtained for all crops."

I'm very interested in this aspect of gypsum. It's too bad nobody seems to have experiences with it in this regard.
7 years ago
I'm wondering if an area of pure sand next to my field would benefit from gypsum. Most people talk about gypsum for clay soil, sodic soil, mineral deficient soil etc. but what about acidic sand? This soil is very deep, I dug down 3-4 feet and it only changed from brown sand to tan sand. Isn't this an advantage in that the roots can grow deeper than in a typical soil? This is where the gypsum comes in; studies show it can get into subsoils and alleviate Al toxicity, allowing roots to grow deeper and yields to increase. I'm hoping for a fertility boost, as the soil definitely needs one. I've never met or heard from anyone who has tried this though.

Any input?
7 years ago

I'm in Scarborough.

Is the weed mat reusable? Some are and some aren't I guess, but I've never used any. I've seen old rugs, pool tarps, rubber mulch, etc. but I don't have that sort of stuff lying around, I'd probably have to check the dump for those types of things.

Oh cool, another Mainer!

That weed mat is fancy! I tried a similar experiment this spring as well; I threw approximately one hundred left-over winter squash seeds into a pile of half decayed mulch and then covered it with newer straw. I figured some of the plants wouldn't make it through the straw, so I over-planted the patch on purpose. I thought that if it worked it would be a convenient method, since all I would need would be the straw. I planted in early May and got 0% germination for a few weeks. So I gave up and dug a straight line through the mulch pile, exposed the soil, and planted into the resultant mulch-canyon. As of June 8th, the two piles of mulch to either side of the bare row have dozens of squash plants growing in them! My theory is that the mulch kept everything cool and slowed the germination, then when it got warm out in June they "woke up".

We should have a giant squash competition. I believe it's reasonable to expect at least a few 400 lb. squash on my end. Butternuts get that big for sure...
I don't know anything about desert mulching, but you mentioned legumes... If you wanted to try an experiment, then growing Moth bean as an annual ground cover might be interesting. Since it's a living ground cover it won't desiccate quickly like mulch would :
7 years ago
Here is an article showing something similar to zai :

Potatoes grown without tilling; works well on bad soil in need of organic matter or un-tilled lawns :

I wouldn't worry about trying to find ways of maintaining the ground-cover, if your soil is infertile you likely have no soil life or soil carbon to lose from tillage.

Sweet potatoes can grow well in sandy soil with little water. I've heard farmers here in Maine say they plant them in sandy areas simply because they can't get anything else to grow in such soil.

Taro and sweet potatoes might grow well for you, in the same ways as the squash and potatoes linked to above. Even though Taro is grown in standing water typically, many people use dryland techniques. You might have to water them though.

You could try seeding winter rye into a lawn. They sell it at hardware stores around here..

If you have bare or disturbed soil, then a grain amaranth could grow there since that's it's usual niche! It germinates on the surface.

7 years ago
"Candida infection" is more likely a general kind of immune deficiency, with lowered IgA. Various things, like inflammation and suppressed thyroid function, correlate with lower IgA and probably allow for the fungal overgrowth.

"Reversible IgA deficiency in hypothyroidism"

"IgA Against Gut-Derived Endotoxins"

7 years ago