Veggie Garden – Compost is not enough – Steve Solomon –

Vegetable crops have been bred for thousands
of years now to grow in extremely fertile soil, soil that’s much more fertile than
anything you find in nature. There are not many places on this planet where you can just
put a vegetable seed in the ground and you dig up the grass, put in the vegetable seed
and grow a vegetable, doesn’t work. The nutritional level in the soil, the fertility
of that particular ground’s got to be several fold more fertile than nature usually makes it.
Now there’s a couple of places I’ve seen where you can actually grow vegetables
on the ground as it comes, one of them was in the Sigatoka Valley in Fiji where they
have this, alluvial soil that’s refreshed every two or three years by a cyclone that
causes flooding like the Nile river and the rock particles that come down out of that
particular band of mountains upriver from the Sigatoka Valley are just chock a block
full of minerals. It’s just amazing rock, it’s a rare rock deposit, I’ve lost it
after having a farm in the Sigatoka Valley, that soil is so gorgeous. But we can’t do
that anywhere else, okay. I don’t know anywhere in Australia we can do that. So we have to
do something to make the soil more fertile or we don’t get a veggie garden. But the
poor gardener is sort of at the end of the whole information chain that’s both confusing,
technical and contains a lot of false information. The worst of the false information happens
because of the organic gardening and farming movement, as strange as it seems. You see
the movement developed in opposition to the use of chemicals. Chemical fertilisers had
pretty well taken over industrial agriculture by the second world war and they had destroyed
the fertility of fields, ruined the health of animals, caused no ends of problems, made
a lot of money for veterinarians or were great for the seed business that had to come up
with brand new varieties every couple of years because of disease problems that didn’t
have to be there in the first place and some far sighted people looked at this and said
“No, we have to go back to a different kind of farming, we have to use organic matter.”
And the books were all saying that by making compost and by composting manure and by various
other kinds of recycling of organic materials we can grow our crops without using chemicals.
Well this is true, but the crops that they were referring to were what I call field crops,
wheat, rye, oats, barley, Lucerne or turnips or these are things that will grow on soil
as it comes. You only have to make the soil a little better than it comes and you can
get a nice crop of wheat. But that level of fertility doesn’t work for vegetables. Vegetables
need the highest levels of fertility. Now there was a time prior to the Second World
War when we had lots of animals. We had horses that pulled wagons, we had working
livestock okay, and there were lots of them everywhere, we had heaps of manure and this manure was
from animals that had to be fed well enough that they could do a job of work and breed.
This is no longer the case. First of all we don’t have stabled horses, not very often,
only here and there you find a racing stud someplace where you can get pretty high quality
stable manure, but most of the time the horses that we have in stables are there for recreation
and they’re fed garbage and they’re not very healthy. And the manure is very low quality
and doesn’t grow things very well. So the gardener reads that you get a bunch of this
low quality manure and you make a compost heap out of it that you should grow a wonderful
garden with it, but garbage in, garbage out and you start with poor manure and you get
poor compost and then you get a poor result in your garden. It’s almost impossible to
source manure of the kind of the quality that used to exist when these organic gardening
books were written. So we get a very poor result from doing what might have worked 60/70
years ago.

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20 thoughts on “Veggie Garden – Compost is not enough – Steve Solomon –

  1. Have you made the vids with the solutions yet? I have had a bit of a look through your vids and I can't find them. I would be interested in the answers please.

  2. Dude my garden grows just great with regular seeds and compost. I don't think you have farmed alot or at least not in Ohio.

  3. The first major statement is false. If you clear the ground and plant vegetables, assuming a reasonable water supply, sun, etc, they will grow. They might not produce like on an intensive farm, but they will grow. This is how many slash and burn cultures have existed for thousands of years. Go in to the forest, girdle the trees or burn them to kill them, and drop seeds in the ground. Soil nutrients are lost over time, but the first year plants certainly will grow.

  4. A person likely bought and paid for by the chemical fertilizer companies.

    He probably threw a few seeds in a garden, and came back three months later and expected a bonanza. Gardens take care and maintenance and compost makes for great vegetable gardens IF a person has some actual experience.

  5. I think he is talking about growing a "good" crop of vegetables, and his meaning of good probably has a much higher standard of nutrition and quality than yours. Some veggie that has not been cared for and is struggling to even survive no matter how well it is watered and how much sun it has

  6. Do your research mate, this bloke’s been at it about 40 year and on a much larger scale than your average 5’x10’ suburban ‘veggie plot….he knows his stuff.

  7. Loved your video and have had the soil tested. I'm adding your recommended amendments now. Thank you!

  8. I bag my lawn and field grass with my ride-on mower , and dump it on my gardens . I till it in as soon as possible . This adds significant organic matter to the soil . The next summer when I plant my vegetables , I supplement the soil with a sprinkle of 17-17-17 or 12-24-24 commercial fertilizer , tilled in prior to planting , and /or side dressed later on . This method combines the best of both worlds.

  9. i use rock dust to add minerals my soil with my own farm manure and soil from the pond its wonderful

  10. Vegetable are domesticated weeds.Weeds that have been artificially enhanced by a combination of breeding and use of chemical fertilisers to give a steroid like effect Plant them in a functioning fertile forest and they will grow just fine.. We dont need the extra nutrients that nature doesn't provide, we need to lower expectations and reduce greed for money.

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