Soil Regeneration at Finca Verde

Increase organic soil content

  1. Plant Green Manure
  2. Shred pruning
  3. Use no till technique to accumulate biomass

Pruning at Finca Verde is done for two purposes

  • Decrease the height of the trees as we switch from conventional harvesting methods to regenerative methods
  • Increase biomass on the soil thus increasing water absorption and providing for a more bio-diverse insect population

Here we use a small electric chainsaw with batteries that are rechargeable and biodegradable chainsaw oil.

Large wood chunks are dried for use in the winter Dead wood is put away to be used as kindling Small wood branches and leaves can be shredded and used for soil building

A mixture of the following planted by the end of March and chopped down only after seeding in order to have it reseed year to year.

“Phacelia Tanacetifolia is a quick growing hardy annual green manure that germinates at low temperatures and is ideal for sowing from March until September. It will grow up to 1m in height and is tolerant of cold temperatures and may over-winter if it's not too cold. It suits most soil types but is particularly good in dry ones. Phacelia does not fix nitrogen but is a very rapidly growing annual nitrogen holder. It is particularly good at attracting bees, hoverflies, and wasps. Phacelia has beautiful scented purple/blue flowers (it belongs to the Borage family), new seedlings are generally ignored by slugs and once grown will produce dense fern-like foliage. It smothers weeds and has an extensive root system that improves the soil structure. However, it does self-seed very easily so if it is used as green manure dig in before flowering or cut down and compost the foliage. It flowers from 6-8 weeks from sowing for a period of 6-8 weeks. Phacelia is listed as one of the top 20 honey-producing flowers for honeybees and is very attractive to bumblebees and hoverflies. (Hoverflies eat a lot of aphids). A small patch could be left to flower, especially near to vegetables to attract pollinating insects to the area, but don't have too many as the insects will feed on the Phacelia rather than the veg. It also makes an excellent cut flower and has a long vase-life with strong stems. Phacelia is part of the Hydrophyllaceae family so fits into any bed in a crop rotation plan.”

Source here

“… common vetch forms a symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobia) that fix atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogenous compounds available to the plant, hence reducing the need for application of expensive nitrogen fertilizer and subsequent rotation crops. Often, common vetch is used as a green manure which, when incorporated into the soil, provides valuable carbon, and nitrogen for rotation crops such as wheat and barley. Additional soil carbon often increases water-holding capacity and ability to bind nutrients including nitrate (Reeves, 1997; Bünemann et al., 2018). Furthermore, common vetch biomass can also be used for forage, fodder, pasture, silage, or hay and the seed may safely be used as a protein-rich feed component for ruminant animals (Enneking, 1995). Common vetch is well suited as a pasture species as it forms many adventitious shoots that are either buried or close to the soil surface thus giving it the ability to be resilient to heavy grazing (Rathjen, 1997).”

Source here

“This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.”

Source here

  • finca_verde/soil_regeneration.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/03/25 13:56
  • by aimeejulia