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  • Harriet Mella

    September 8, 2021 at 10:20 am

    One little footnote to Johnson Su: I have made a trial this year, I planted some crop plants on top of a Johnson Su from last year that I did surround with a thick layer of bark mulch and pretty much plant material only (maybe a bit of chicken manure went in it). Last year, fungi without fruiting bodies were sporulating on the bark mulch. It was not ready to use this spring as of course it froze most time during winter (one objection against the pile “in the air”, an aerated pile on the soil takes a lot longer to freeze) and took too long to cook to use in spring. I popped a basalt antenna in the middle, two iron bars north south, and stuck the plants on top – just to see how they do.

    The interesting thing is that none of the crops (sweet potato, egg plant, cucumber, tomato, pepper) was showing excessive nutrition, around end of July, they were stagnating in growth (also very hot and dry), so I gave them a handful of insect frass. None had long internodes, but also no striking deficiency symptoms (interesting with that much senescent and woody material). What was striking is that they took very long to frame, and became very large in the vegetative stage, but when they started to reproduce, they did with massive amounts of buds. The cuke started with 10 female flowers at once and got away with it (it was a variety with very long cucumbers).

    So basically it works as a Hügel-Beet does even without earth.

    One thing about the J.S. reactor is that apparently many microbes sporulate and you carry them as dormant inoculum into the field. This is why it is said to be so potent in such little quantities.