Re: [tomato] Green Manure.

Thomas Giannou (
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:02:51 -0800

Dear Paul,

The limitation of P is fairly easy to overcome with an organic fertilizer
mixed into the soils.  In the case of Anaerobic soils, I suspect that mixing
in sand and 15% well aged compost by volume, with a good thick mulch on top
will provide the environment needed for air to enter and plenty of P.  With
Mycorrhiza, a 1% P in the water film should be easy to obtain with the
presence of the Endomycorrhizal fungi as well as several other Biotics like:
Trichoderma Harzianum, Arthrobacter Globiformis, Azotobacter Chroococcum,
Azotobacter Vinelandii, Bacillus Subtilis, Pseudomonas Alcaligenes,
Pseudomonas Fluorescens, Pseudomonas Caligenes, and Pseudomonas Putida.  P
in complex form or rockbound, is just fine to use when the above Biotics are
present... but soils that don't let the air in need to be amended with sand
and well aged compost and a good organic fertilizer.  The idea is to get a
soil consistency that will drain and will stay loose and damp.
There should be enough raw materials in areas of high clay concentrations to
make that be the case... it may require a fair amount of sand... and raised
beds are always helpful.

As for the presence of carbon in the wheat soil I was looking at... the
organic material didn't turn to slime.  It was mostly intact.  Here in
Eastern Washington, it is a lot drier than in Oregon.  We get snow and
rains, but nothing like Oregon's Klamath Valley.  I wasn't thinking about a
carbon problem... but the lack of micro-organisms in the wheat land soil
would account for why the prior year(s) organic material wasn't decomposing.
It seems reasonable to also connect a carbon deficiency with lack of
micro-organisms.  I think the lack of those micro-organisms was due
primarily to the farming inputs into that soil (chemical fertilizers,
herbicides, pesticides, etc.) which have made that soil mostly sterile.  I
have had some of that soil in a sealed container and it is quite moist and
for the past 2 months no growth has appeared on the surface... not a plant,
not a fungi, not a mold.  This is prime wheat country here around Spokane
and is a primary business with a fair number of farmers.  I just can't help
but wonder what the quality of that wheat might become if micro-organisms
were introduced into those soils.  When I consider things like this, the
complaints of my vegetarian acquaintances come to mind about what is
available to be consumed.

Then, in fiddling around with BioVam this past year in my garden and seeing
a bunch of major changes take place and have tomatoes, raspberries, peppers,
strawberries, and everything else taste so much better, I have to conclude
that those things are also much healthier and nourishing to eat.  What has
really captured my attention about the whole thing is I am actually spending
less time fighting with things and have really started to enjoy gardening
for the first time in 50 years.

Once the soil is rich with micro-organisms and air can get into it, a small
amount of inoculant with each plant is all that is needed... along with a
good supply of organic material.... aged compost is fine and so is a good
thick top dressing of mulch the worms can eat.  Maintenance is really simple
and then gardening turns into a lot of fun.  The idea with this method is to
quickly bring the environment into balance.

Thomas Giannou
Spokane, Washington

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Reynolds <>
To: Tomato Digest <>
Date: Thursday, March 11, 1999 7:34 AM
Subject: [tomato] Green Manure.

>You are right about the fowl manures and guano being very concentrated
>in P.  Fortunately, P is highly susceptible to being bound in the soil
>environment as long as the soils aren't anaerobic.  Anaerobic soils is
>the only instance that I'm aware of where the mobility P has become a
>problem.  However, nearly all the soils here in Texas are severely
>limited in available P as well.  Most lawn and crop fertilizer
>recommendations are for P based fertilizers.
>Could the problem with the lack of break down of the previous wheat crop
>be that the soils are deficient in Carbon??  I do remember talking to
>some folks on a similar subject about the Klamath valley in Oregon and
>the fact that if they leave any crop residue in the field that it will
>turn into a black slime in the surface soils do to the lack of organisms
>and i'm sure they said that the soils were severely lacking in carbon.
>Paul Reynolds
>Environmental Agronomist
>Austin Texas