Does The Soil Lose It's Goodness ?

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Offline neilep

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Does The Soil Lose It's Goodness ?
« on: 16/02/2008 21:15:08 »
Dear Soilers,

See my Spider Plant ?


Nice eh ?.......

It's doing what most potted plants do and enjoying itself in a pot of soil !

But is this a one way trip ?..i.e....does the plant only take from the soil ?...does the soil eventually lose all it's plant giving goodness  ? or is there some form of unseen payback that the plant returns to the soil ?

Hugs et les shmishes


Men are the same as women, just inside out !



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Does The Soil Lose It's Goodness ?
« Reply #1 on: 16/02/2008 22:53:57 »
Some plants will fix nitrogen in the soil.

Many plants will return things to the soil indirectly, in that animals will eat the plants, the animals will then defecate, and that contributes to the benefit of the soil (not likely in your pot plant - and generally the invention of the flush toilette was probably a very Environmentally unfriendly thing, even if it was beneficial to human health).

The root systems of the plants can also help bind the soil (again, not relevant to potted plants, but relevant where the soil is vulnerable to erosion).

What is more difficult to replace is the loss of trace minerals (some people seems to have done quite well in rejuvenating their soil by giving it a slight sprinkling of volcanic ash).


Offline Carol-A

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Does The Soil Lose It's Goodness ?
« Reply #2 on: 17/02/2008 08:36:18 »
No plants can fix nitrogen, but some plants have root nodules that house bacteria that are able to fix nitrogen! A pot plant is really only taking from the soil, we don't usually add the dead leaves and flowers back to the soil to conserve nutrients. In most systems the plants will die back, and the nutrients returned to the soil as the plants rot. Where farmers remove the plant material, they have to replenish the lost nutrients by adding back fertilizer.


Offline JimBob

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Does The Soil Lose It's Goodness ?
« Reply #3 on: 17/02/2008 20:49:14 »
Either that or rotating crops. Examples of three year rotations are: wheat, barley, turnips and clover - a four year rotation from the 1700's in England; wheat, sorghum, corn is used now in the US; in northern Europe during the middle ages: rye or winter wheat, followed by spring oats or barley, then letting the soil rest (leaving it fallow) during the third stage (this allowed a means of eliminating the ergot cycle as well as renewing the soil).

Legumes are the best at nitrogen fixing because of their root nodule bacteria. But in southern climates there are also nematodes that infect the legumes so other plants are used.

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