Monday, 1 February 2010

Mychorrhizal fungi and Terra preta

I am very sure that fungi have something to do with the very strange phenomena of Terra preta soil increase.  The film says that the soil replenishes itself but there is some indication that compost is used to ameliorate the process. 
I have watched the film ( ) several times now trying to glean all the information I can.
As I have said, this could be mychorrhizal fungi but yeast is another avenue to follow. I don't know where to get sour dough yeast from; however my local garden centre sells mychorrhizal fungi.
As to producing my own charcoal, I think that I am going to experiment with various commercial charcoals first and I am going to mix them with blood fish and bone in a solution of undiluted comfrey liquid to start with.
I have a particularly infertile area of soil on the allotment, (If you want to know why look on my allotment blog under benzo (a) pyrenes). I am going to set up a proper comparison plot with several sections. One with charcoal on its own, one with blood fish and bone on its own, one with comfrey on its own, one with blood fish and bone and comfrey one with comfrey and charcoal and finally one with all. I would like to check out fungi as well; however that might make it complicated :-)).
Trying to think of ways that the soil remakes itself may not be too problematic. The increase in microorganisms within such a fertile soil could cause it, if they are produced in enough numbers. Any nutrient from decomposition seems to be adsorbed by the charcoal and this also gives soil fungi a really good habitat. Together with an increase in the population of roots and leaf litter from above ground you are very likely to get an increase in volume of soil.