If you still did not know anything about the benefits of silt for the garden and only vaguely imagine what sapropel is, then it is time to start studying the properties of this fertilizer. And at the same time find out: where to get it, how to use it, and is it true that river silt is worse than lake silt.
Silt is a mud-like substance that accumulates at the bottom of a body of water. If the reservoir is of natural origin and freshwater, then the bottom sediments are called sapropel.
Sapropel (from the Greek. humus: lignino-humus complex, carbohydrates, bitumen and others in a colloidal state.
Silt is deposited at the bottom for centuries and even millennia, over time, the lower layers turn into cohesive sedimentary rocks. And the upper ones are actively mined and used in agriculture.
Silt, or sapropel, in its natural state is like mud
It is not difficult to answer this question on your own if you imagine the life of the underwater world. There is:
Scientists have discovered many useful elements in sapropel silt.
The mineral part of sapropels contains a large amount of trace elements, such as: Co, Mn, Cu, B, Br, Mo, V, Cr, Be, Ni, Ag, Sn, Pb, As, Ba, Sr, Ti, rich in B vitamins (B1, B12, B3, B6), E, C, D, P, carotenoids, many enzymes, for example, catalases, peroxidases, reductases, proteases.
Sapropel fertilizers are a unique product, the only organic fertilizer used for radical improvement (reclamation) and soil rehabilitation
Plants in the garden react to the introduction of silt with a tangible increase in yield. Amateur eyewitnesses say that the same green manure grows 3-4 times faster on silt and gain twice the mass that grows on lands without silt, although fertilized with humus. Agronomists have calculated that the use of sapropel increases crop yields by 50-100%.
But you cannot thoughtlessly introduce silt, you need to know the structure and properties of the soil on your site:
It is not enough to know the peculiarity of your soil, you also need to understand the silt itself, its chemical composition, which can be introduced into the soil.
The most useful for plants is lake silt - sapropel. But even within the same reservoir, it can differ in chemical composition. There are 4 types of sapropel:
The composition of the silt deposits and determine their purpose. Lacustrine sapropel when mined on an industrial scale:
Lake silt is mined from a depth of at least 1.5–2 m. It is difficult to get it on your own. Although in the video below there is a story about one sludge digger who used a scoop with holes on a 3-meter handle.
Swamp silt is equal to lake silt in quality. It contains a lot of humus, and added to compost or manure neutralizes feces and promotes their rapid decomposition. Moreover, there is also a boggy type of sapropel, which cannot be obtained for technical reasons. Even the exploration of such reserves is not being carried out.
You can try to find and collect sapropel on your own if there is a familiar swamp. It is better not to go to the unfamiliar, especially alone.
River silt is also good, on one condition: no harmful effluents should enter the river. Today, only small rivers and streams flowing far from civilization have remained environmentally friendly. It is no coincidence that on many beaches there are signs: "Swimming is prohibited." The water in our rivers does not meet sanitary standards, and the silt from them, like vegetables grown on such a dubious fertilizer, will not be useful.
A similar picture can be observed in any city, the only difference is in the "beauty" of pipes
For the above reasons, silt is not extracted from rivers on an industrial scale. Another thing is the muddy deposits obtained during the cleaning of drains and ditches, which must be disposed of somewhere.
They are trying to process bottom sediments from such sources into useful fertilizer, but so far with varying success.
Sludge pond by its formation is actually a pond warm soil and may contain substances harmful to plants, for example, humus acid, or a soluble salt of ferrous oxide.
In the mud from the ditches, gasoline, oils, heavy metals are also found. But such goodness is also used by cleaning:
In domestic conditions, such sludge can be obtained from your own septic tank - this is the sediment at the bottom. It is not recommended to spread it directly into the soil, but it can be added to the compost in a layer or film in the same way as you compost kitchen waste.
Sludge is also formed in septic tanks
It is important to know that:
According to its fertilizing properties, sewage sludge can be considered as organo-mineral and organic fertilizers, similar to organo-mineral composts, litter or litterless (liquid) manure.
The dry mass of precipitation contains: organic matter - 40-60%, nitrogen - 1-3%, phosphorus (P2O5) - 1-4%, potassium (K2O) - 0.2-0.7%, calcium (Ca) - 3-5%, precipitation also contains magnesium, sulfur, and other macro- and microelements necessary for plant nutrition. Sediments obtained after biological wastewater treatment plants usually have a medium reaction close to neutral (pH 6.5–8.0).
If you yourself have extracted silt from an ecologically clean reservoir, then there is no point in drying, weathering, freezing it. Can be applied to holes and planting holes diluted with water or pure. Doses depend on the amount of silt available and the ability of the earth to absorb it. There is an experience of watering with liquid sludge directly from a reservoir using a pump and a hose.
If there are doubts about the purity and quality of the sludge, it is better to add it to the compost or spread it on the ground in the fall so that it is weathered and dry, and use it as humus in the spring. The most convenient way is to buy sapropel from a store. You can add silt at any time of the year, but it will bring more benefits to the plant at the very beginning of growth.
How and when to bring dry sapropel from the store:
These are only approximate recommendations, since today sapropel is sold in liquid, powder, granules. For example, it is recommended to first soak granulated and insist by analogy with purchased poultry humus.
Different sludge fractions that are commercially available
Any silty deposits contain organic matter and a set of mineral elements. But if they are not obtained from an ecologically clean reservoir, then their quality and benefits are questioned. Not everyone has the opportunity to get the best sludge (sapropel), but everyone can buy it in a gardening store and use it according to the instructions.
Almost all plants need additional feeding, which stimulates growth and fruiting. For many decades, summer residents have used eggshells as fertilizer for the soil. It contains an abundance of natural organic compounds and trace elements necessary for a nascent living being. The eggshell contains about 95% calcium carbonate and it seems that in the crystalline form the plants do not assimilate it. In fact, the substance has a beneficial effect on the process of photosynthesis, the growth of foliage and shoots. Before we figure out how to use eggshells as fertilizer, we will find out its chemical composition and properties.
A ton of sapropel (also called silt extracted from the bottom of stagnant reservoirs) contains 60-70 kg of humus. Those who have been to the central black earth regions have seen the black earth on which everything grows. Humus gives black soil to black soil.
There is little of it in our northern soddy-podzolic soils, which is why they are so poor. And so instead of using every kilogram of organic matter in business, we pile it up in dumps.
Of course, pond silt is a drop in the sea of our needs. But organic matter accumulates in lakes, and in quiet rivers, and in oxbows. And it can thoroughly fertilize household plots.
When I scoop up a black viscous mass from the river, someone will definitely stop near. And having learned that the bottom sludge is equal to manure in terms of phosphorus content, and nitrogen in it is twice as much, he will certainly say: "I'll have to try!" Cucumbers, tomatoes, currants, gooseberries, potatoes and other crops respond well to fertilization with silt.
Timely and complete fertilization of the beds in the spring will allow your vegetables to start growing in high-quality, nutritious soil. This will save them from stress and give strength to resist disease. In addition, the plant does not have to spend energy looking for macro- and microelements, and it will develop into the envy of its neighbors.
The most important fertilizer for the garden in spring is, of course, nitrogen. However, you should not forget about potassium and phosphorus either - a competent combination of these substances will allow vegetables to evenly grow the root system and foliage. It is important to correctly combine organic and mineral fertilizing for the garden, because only in a complex they will give a good result.
So rotted manure or compost should be applied 3-4 weeks before planting vegetables at the rate of 1 bucket per 1 sq. M. And mineral fertilizers - just before planting or digging the earth. If you do not have organic matter, you can use dry fertilizers and apply the following substances per square meter:
In gardening, compost is used quite often. The main thing is to understand how and when to use it. As a rule, compost is used in the fall, after the entire crop has been harvested, and in the spring before sowing some crops. The compost can also be used for growing seedlings. These nutrients will work very well for young seedlings. But for planting seeds, you cannot take only one compost, especially if it is not yet fully ripe. The fertilizer must be mixed with sod or deciduous soil so that the rotting processes do not destroy the seed.
Insects such as woodlice, millipedes, tardigrades and other representatives of saprophytes can live in the compost. This living creature feeds on dead organic particles, and therefore is not at all dangerous to plants. But if ants appear in the compost heap, then you need to get rid of them. To do this, you just need to pour boiling water over the fertilizer. It is also allowed to use such products as "Muratsin" or "Anteater".
One mistake many gardeners make is to disinfect compost before use. The result is not a nutritious fertilizer, but an ordinary sterile soil that will not bring the expected benefits.
If the compost did not have time to prepare by the fall, then this is not a problem. Unripe fertilizer, which is not more than 3 months old, can be used in the same way in the fall to fertilize the beds for the next season. Also, "young" compost is used as a liquid top dressing. To prepare a slurry, you need to mix 2/3 of the unripe fertilizer with 1/3 of the water. After that, the dressing is tightly closed and placed in a warm place for several days. The prepared fertilizer can be used to feed crops such as cucumbers, tomatoes, or legumes.
As for mature compost, it is used for all vegetable, berry and fruit crops. You can determine readiness by appearance. The compost is loose and does not release liquid when pressed. And if you smell it, then there will be no unpleasant smell of rot. However, when using ready-made compost, you should take into account the characteristics of each plant, perhaps some crops, such as strawberries, do not require saturated fertilizing, and it is better to dilute the compost before use.
Mushroom compost deserves special attention. Such fertilizer is considered very valuable in horticulture, since after its application the yield increases significantly and the quality of the land improves. Also, mushroom compost is a wonderful mulch for absolutely all plants.
Mulching with such fertilizer has a number of advantages:
A good mulch is moss (peat sphagnum), which is found in most composts. It perfectly retains soil moisture, and mulching the soil with moss for the winter very well saves the plants from freezing.
Gardeners often ask themselves: "What can be used instead of compost?" For this case, there are many folk remedies. One of them is nettle infusion, which perfectly fertilizes the soil, stimulates the growth of the root system of plants, and also increases immunity in vegetable and berry crops. It is very easy to prepare natural fertilizer. To do this, you need to pick up the grass, cut it and fill it with water. But it is important to keep the ratio 1: 2, respectively. The mixture is placed in a warm place for a week, and the contents must be mixed every day. After seven days, the nettle compost is ready and ready for use. Some people prefer vermicompost, which can be purchased at garden stores. They are also an alternative to compost. When using such fertilizer, you must also adhere to a certain proportion. On average, about 50-90 grams of liquid is consumed per one hundred square meters.
Compost is a unique organic fertilizer that can be obtained with almost no effort. You just need to add plant and food waste in a certain order. Using such fertilizers every year, you can see how the quality of the land is improving, and the crops planted on the site give a good and large harvest. Many gardeners who use compost find that plants are less likely to get sick and are not affected by pests.
Everyone and different! In the dacha chatter in the first post, I told me what I was putting in a cart, it was many years ago, but even then I showed a photo of both grassland peat "Sorcerer" and peat of unknown origin.
First you need to decide on a landing plan!
(Both "Klasman" and "Agrobalt" are high moor peat)
Well, to be completely honest, this year I no longer ordered peonies and conifers, but the principle of the approach to the selection of peat is clear.
Hydrangeas, peonies, conifers and lights adore adding sour, the simplest and cheapest peat to the holes.
The question arises, is it possible to do without expensive Klasmans, maybe there is universal peat? Of course you can. I have loam, and the soil can only be improved by introducing any organic matter, so every 2-3 years we buy either manure or sapropel by machines. In sapropel, peat often comes across a lot, in rather large pieces, I select it and put it in a separate pile, it turns out such a good pile. Part of this peat I send to compost, and part of it I grind and use for seedlings, for pots, when planting in holes. I don't have a chopper, so I soak the peat pieces in water and then use the trebuchet handles like coconut briquettes, only the coconut crumbles itself, and the peat pieces have to be torn and kneaded. If you know the properties of peat and use the necessary additives, then the result is no worse than when using clasmans.
And yet, once having tried this very "Klasman", it is difficult to refuse it. I tried several recipes and settled on 876, which is the finest recipe with minimal fertilizer and no vermiculite. Don't be guided by me, choose peat for your plants. Let me explain why this particular recipe: I can easily change the small fraction to a large one by adding "my" peat, I will add vermiculite perlite to suit the needs of my seedlings, and fertilizers are generally a separate conversation, sometimes they do more harm than good.
I dig sapropel myself in a nearby pond. Of course, this is a labor-intensive business, but you do not have to pay anything, and the garden from such fertilization pleases with the return even more than after applying manure. I advise everyone to use river silt.
I bought granulated sapropel. It turned out costly, but you don't have to strain yourself, dragging it in buckets from the nearest river and drying it later. It is convenient to dilute the granules, and I am satisfied with the effect of the application. And then this drying, sifting, is very difficult, especially for a woman!
I also recommend sapropel to everyone. Just do not take it from peat bogs and swamps, it is better to use lake silt from the shallows, where it is cleaner in composition and easier to extract. And the purchased powder is also good, but still costs money.
Originally posted 2018-03-11 12:29:53.