Memphis Backyard Farmer

Who Knew That Being Negative Could Be Such a Good Thing?
May 18, 2013, 2:17 am
Filed under: Gardening | Tags: , , , , ,

I live in Tennessee, and I’ve been able to take advantage of some resources offered by my local extension office. I took the Master Gardener course a couple of years ago and it taught me an incredible amount about plants and gardening and soils and – too much to mention. But throughout the course and afterward, I’ve been less than satisfied with the research done and resources offered by the UT Extension regarding organic farming methods. Other states’ extension programs are doing great research in this area, including Cornell University and University of Vermont. UVM has some great resources for small farmers, including some terrific webinars. I’ve just finished watching “Basic Soil and Soil Testing” with Dr. Heather Darby for the second time and wanted to recommend it to those of you who are really serious about gardening and farming. You can find the webinar recording here.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) – Who knew that being negative was such a good thing?
  • The role of compost / organic matter in your soil (SPOILER: It’s not what you think!)
  • The importance of micro organisms in your soil
  • Different types of soil organic matter (SOM)
  • Where to spend your money for the quickest production boost: “Lime is your cheapest form of fertilizer. The pH of your soil will highly influence how available many of the nutrients in your soil are.” “You can change pH rather quickly and for not much money and will have the biggest impact on your crop production.

Pop some popcorn, send the kids outside, and set aside a block  of time to watch the webinar. It’s an hour and a half long, but well worth it!


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