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  • Benny Thompson

    December 30, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    Feel free to let me know if I’m just adding unhelpful noise to the conversation. I’ve only been farming for 4 years, but have solid experience in adjacent applied sciences, so I find these discussions fascinating and enjoy the exchange, but I don’t have tried-and-true advice on this specific scenario…

    I’m guessing the Elaine Ingham’s context of limiting applications to less than 100lbs/acre would be for midseason application? You don’t want to doing anything drastic midseason. You want to preserve the existing biotic relationships and expand the beneficial ones.

    At the point you’re “clearing land for a vineyard”, wiping out the old culture and bringing in a new culture(grapes) that isn’t compatible with existing/natural environment, I would guess a big application of limestone would be less damaging to the microbiome than the “clearing”.

    I’ve also heard Elaine Ingham say that she has many times recuperated dead soil in three days with just one compost tea application. If thats true, then go ahead and decimate the existing culture, apply a lot of limestone, till it deep, let it rain (hopefully not heavy), apply compost tea formulated for the new culture, put in your understory crop, then put in your grapes?

    If the environment naturally produces pH 4.5, I’m guessing you’ll be fighting this for eternity, liming every year. Might be worth trying a patch of blueberries and see if that produces better fruit with less labor?