The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Appendix: The Soil Food Web Gardening Rules

Fukuoka-sensei only had four, but they were pretty general. Jeff has twelve and I think they are ALL really important...
1. Some plants prefer soils dominated by fungi; others prefers soils dominated by bacteria

2. Most vegetables, annuals, and grasses prefer their nitrogen in nitrate form, and do best in bacterially dominated soils

3. Most trees, shrubs, and perennials prefer their nitrogen in ammonium for and do best in fungally dominated soils.

4.Compost can be used to inoculate beneficial microbes and life into soils around your yard and introduce, maintain, or alter the soil food web in a particular area.

5. Adding compost and it's soil food web to the surface of the soil will inoculate the soil with the same soil food web.

6. Aged, brown organic materials support fungi; fresh green organic materials support bacteria.

7. Mulch laid on the surface tends to support fungi; muclh worked into the soil tends so support bacteria.

8. If you wet and grind mulch thoroughly, it speeds up bacterial colonization.

9. Coarse dryer mulches support fungal activity.

10. Sugars help bacteria multiply and grow; kelp, humic, and fulvic acids and phosphate rock dust help fungi grow.

11. By choosing the compopst you begin with and what nutrients you add to it, you can make teas that are heavily fungal, bacterially dominated, or balanced.

12. Compost teas are very sensiteive to chlorine and preservatives in the brewing water and ingredients.
I will add Fukuoka's Four Principles here as well, for contrast and comparison...


NO CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS OR PREPARED COMPOST (well, we part way with the master here, both Jeff and myself, but even Fukuoka-sensei broke this one in his kitchen gardens, making some compost with added wood ash for some of his veggies. But he was mostly speaking to farming in his book, not gardening...)



Seems we are all pretty much on the same page... :D

Scott Reil

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

Yeah, there are certainly quite a few similarities.

HG, you forgot the other 7:
13. Applications of synthetic fertilizers kill off most or all of the soil food web microbes.

14. Stay away from additives that have high NPK numbers.

15. Follow any chemical spraying or soil drenching with an application of compost tea.

16. Most conifers and hardwood trees (birch, oak, beech, hickory) form mycorrhizae with ectomycorrhizal fungi.

17. Most vegetables, annuals, grasses, shrubs, softwood trees, and perennials form mycorrhizae with endomycorrhizal fungi.

18. Rototilling and excessive soil disturbance destroy or severely damage the soil food web.

19. Always mix endomycorrhizal fungi with the seeds of annuals and vegetables at planting time or apply them to roots at transplanting time.
There's some similarities with Fukuoka-sensei's principals here, too.
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