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 Post subject: Re: ZEOLITE
PostPosted: Nov 15th, '15, 18:24 
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BuiDoi wrote:
[..
Listed as the TOP Australian expert in citrus growing, a chap shared his tip for growing the best crop on ABC - TV..

The tip was to mix Zeolite through the garden bed, much like you might mix water crystals..

His observation.. "you will need half the fertiliser"

One assumes that as the zeolite absorbs the nitrates, it holds them against being leached by rain, but will release them when needed..

I have started m8xing zeolite in my hydroponic beds, heeding that experts advice..
..
.

I have used a fair bit of zeolite throughout the beds and the rest of the garden and heaps of charcoal too

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '15, 03:23 
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I dont like comparing different agricultural practices like one is better than the other. Is a hammer better than a screwdriver? It depends on what you are trying to do, what you are trying to grow, your climate, footprint and situation.

My suburban backyard has a bit of a slope all over but in one section is much more steep. It would be a challenge to level it off enough for a raised grow bed or an aquaponic growbed so I have been planning to add a hugelkulture to that area. I plan to do more squash, and vine plants that sprawl over the ground and help hold in moisture. I think it may help catch/store water for the fruit trees i have plantedm nearby on the back area of my yard.

It sounds like hugelkutlure is better for you and your situation. Personally, I have great success with growing peppers in aquaponics. They are hotter and have more flavor than anything you can buy at the store. Sometimes i share them with coworkers and they come back and shamelessly offer to buy any peppers i want to "give away" in the future.

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '15, 06:25 
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bcotton wrote:
I dont like comparing different agricultural practices like one is better than the other. Is a hammer better than a screwdriver? It depends on what you are trying to do, what you are trying to grow, your climate, footprint and situation..


I can't help thinking that it ain't that simple..

ZEOLITE absorbs and releases nutrients, and thus if op expert says it works with citrus, a bulk nutrient need plant, then I would be convinced that it would be good for ALL plants..
Reducing nutrient loss can be dismissed that easily.. IMHO

But perhaps you are not talking about Zeolite and more referring to the type of grow bed and what works best in different locations..
Still, I would suspect that the OPs bed concept would work in ANY location, with suitable adjustments..
..


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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '15, 09:47 
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yah i was responding to the original post hence the " Post subject: Re: My Hugelkulture raised bed vs AP" in my subject.


Are you saying that one cannot make aquaponics work in any location?

I dont think you understand my point. people can grow carrots in an aquaponics grow bed but imho it's not the best way to grow carrots. I wouldnt put a hugelkulture in my front yard but i would put a raised bed for the simple fact i think the previous would be more likely to tick off my neighbors.


I could hammer a nail with the handle of a screwdriver but it's not the *best* tool for the job.


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '15, 22:29 
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"I could hammer a nail with the handle of a screwdriver but it's not the *best* tool for the job." I got it. I've been gardening in my current location since 1999. We're on a hill, with exposed bedrock in most areas. We are building the soil with pine needles from the forest which is behind us to the south, mixed with household compost, sand and loam from the river. Hugelkulture is pretty much the same concept. I can attest to the success of this concept, but most important is variety. Some plots work one year, for one type of plant and not the next. Things will get even dicier with the ill-effects of climate change, which is why I started the earth-sheltered greenhouse fish pond.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '15, 05:49 
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I agree with bcotton, no gardening method is worth comparing. Ive learnt that by gardening in 2 completely different locations and conditions in australia.

Recently (much to my disappointment) Ive discovered its much harder to grow tomatoes here the sub tropics. Theres so many more bugs and birds here Im ready to give up or at least I have to go for hybrid varieties with regular pesticide applications, something Im not keen on nor have the time for.

But on a lighter note, Ive now got the space and materials to have every method of gardening which is exciting. Hugelkutlure is definitely on the list, well a large part of our block is already a giant natural hugelkutlure patch resembling a forest floor, I just need to row it up and plant, my only concern is the fast growing vines and weeds here so I need to take extra steps to weed mat and mulch on the surface.

I think different methods are situation dependant and depending where you are you will have different results.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '15, 09:57 
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I agree also...it was a crappy tittle. In hindsight, hugelkultur was much cheaper and much more productive. I've found people come to these websites looking for answers. They want to grow stuff for their family and be more self sustaining whether it be AP or wicking beds. AP has an allure that draws you in. It can be an effective way to grow fish and produce. It can also be a let down and people give up very easily. Those that have success and stick it out want to expand and it becomes addictive.

I will continue raising fish and utilizing AP for my greens. When I balance the cost of actual food production and cost of expanding I will stick with what works cheaply. The kicker for me was the natural nutrients and lack of deficiencies in my hugelkultur. The nutrient profiles required to hit the maximum production/brix/taste is not in the best interest of AP. Hence...so many threads on what's wrong with my plant.

Once again, I am not not knocking AP. I have learned a lot here. I am just presenting options to help you grow more food. My climate, rainfall ect...may vary. Keep at it and grow your own!

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '15, 16:43 
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RairdogAP wrote:
.....Once again, I am not not knocking AP. I have learned a lot here. I am just presenting options to help you grow more food. My climate, rainfall ect...may vary. Keep at it and grow your own!


That sums it up.. There are MANY solutions.. effectiveness depends on MANY circumstances..

I would LOVE to spread a HugelKulture bed across my front yard..
In fact - I wonder about the nature strip.. anything to get rid of the grass.. :upset:
..
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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '15, 10:31 
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BuiDoi,

I had been thinking the same thing. I saw an episode of Gardening Australia on the ABC and got all enthused. They said, make sure you ask your local council if its okay.

Well F*%k me if that was a mistake. Think I painted a target on my house after that. You can have a mess of a verge, scrap yard of rusty, half junked spare parts cars, but suggest a community freakin garden on your verge, and you may as well have been sporn by the devil himself.

One thing I have learnt, you are better off asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '15, 09:09 
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dr bee wrote:
BuiDoi,

I had been thinking the same thing. I saw an episode of Gardening Australia on the ABC and got all enthused. They said, make sure you ask your local council if its okay.

Well F*%k me if that was a mistake. Think I painted a target on my house after that. You can have a mess of a verge, scrap yard of rusty, half junked spare parts cars, but suggest a community freakin garden on your verge, and you may as well have been sporn by the devil himself.

One thing I have learnt, you are better off asking for forgiveness rather than permission.



Before...old asphalt and weeds
Image

Flooded from the river 6/28/15. It survived while my other gardens perished because it was above ground and drains quick. It would be an ideal space for an outdoor AP.....but it floods. This was the first flood I have had during garden season in 10 years or more. It floods regularly in the winter which doesn't affect the other gardens. It would destroy an AP system.
Image

After. It was a much cheaper alternative to green up this space. Otherwise I would have to rent a bobcat and rip it all out. Then replace with clean soil.
Image

View from the deck 10 ft above looking down.
Image

The soil was too mushy to walk on without a plank. It was poor planning on how to access on my part. Spacing was an issue. They just grew to big compared to normal spacing. I would attribute it to loosely compacted soil which helps aerate the roots and an abundance of broken down nutes ready for plant uptake.

The neighbor was complaining about the initial look. Once it got going she was picking her share of bells.

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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '15, 12:10 
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I think a lot of people get excited and caught up in the thought of growing EVERYTHING in a AP system , when I think its more suited to being just another part of the garden .

A system will be a compromise if you want to grow the very best produce you will need multiple systems with different nutrient profiles for plant groups

My attraction started when I was looking to extend my tomato growing at both ends of the season and its fitted into this concept nicely , it just keeps trickling over produce , I still have a large ground garden to grow volumes for preserving

At my previous property in 28yrs I had only grown a handful of tomatoes before Xmas , ground was just too cold , in the AP I was getting them mid November right through until end of june

Ive moved to a different climate so lots to learn about this area .

If you build a really big AP system your locked into big power use if your plants don't do well next step is disappointment and frustration .

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