Sugar, moleasses, simple sugars to improve soil life.


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Over what area? How much area do you cover with 1 L?

Since you won't do it anytime soon, I'll test this myself in a clay location. Picking up the rebar today and have molasses on hand so will get started soon. I'll post pictures
Make sure you record the soil temps. Growth shutdown begins with 55f and lower soil temps.
 
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Meadowlark

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Over what area? How much area do you cover with 1 L?

Since you won't do it anytime soon, I'll test this myself in a clay location. Picking up the rebar today and have molasses on hand so will get started soon. I'll post pictures

Repeat...Over what area? How much area does 1 l cover?
 
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Repeat...Over what area? How much area does 1 l cover?
oh at least a 1% solution -spray until wet. 40mL is 1% of 4 liters. @Chuck and others say up to 2 0unces which is 60mL per gallon or 1.5% of 4 Liters. Just keep it moist and fed. Its easier to spray when its not raining, so you may want some powdered sugar for rain days to keep from overdoing the water if you have plants in that soil.
 
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Repeat...Over what area? How much area does 1 l cover?
I am sure I read somewhere 'Drench the soil...' which is a bit more than 'spray until wet' or 'just keep it moist'. If you are going to stick a bar in for several feet then presumably the sugar must penetrate that far before it is all used up, and there needs to be water to carry it that far in. Something that surprised me when I was reading about watering elsewhere is how little the water moves sideways, but it would mean a good drenching could carry to a reasonable depth.
I am a bit puzzled by the way percentages, metric and imperial measures are mixed (Are American gallons the same as imperial?) . It would make life easier to stick to one, for example.
One litre per square meter
One pint per square foot
Of course if you are British it might be one Imperial gallon per square rod. :)
 
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The way I always use molasses is as a soil drench. I have a 2 gallon garden bucket into which I put 4 oz molasses and anything else I might need. This will be adequate for 4 tomato plants or about 8-10 square feet. I do this every time I fertilize, every 2 weeks.
 

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10 mL per liter every week until it softens and 2-3 weeks after it starts. .... I can run a 5 foot rebar into the ground with one hand by the time the summer garden has gone away.

oh at least a 1% solution -spray until wet. 40mL is 1% of 4 liters. @Chuck and others say up to 2 0unces which is 60mL per gallon or 1.5% of 4 Liters. Just keep it moist and fed. Its easier to spray when its not raining, so you may want some powdered sugar for rain days to keep from overdoing the water if you have plants in that soil.

Ok lets get this show going.

Two test plots 2 sq. ft each, one in clay which is what the claim was based on and the other in my garden soil which is 3 ft of sandy lome and clay thereafter.

Each test plot will be drenched once a week with a 1% solution of molasses for eight weeks. The penetration will be with one hand using #3 rebar 6 ft long and marked in orange paint every 1 foot.

The starting penetration for test plot 1 is zero.

test plot 1.JPG


Test Plot 2 starting penetration 6 inches.

test plot 2.JPG



Please post any suggested changes to test out the original claim.
 
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Ok lets get this show going.

Two test plots 2 sq. ft each, one in clay which is what the claim was based on and the other in my garden soil which is 3 ft of sandy lome and clay thereafter.

Each test plot will be drenched once a week with a 1% solution of molasses for eight weeks. The penetration will be with one hand using #3 rebar 6 ft long and marked in orange paint every 1 foot.

The starting penetration for test plot 1 is zero.

View attachment 92345

Test Plot 2 starting penetration 6 inches.

View attachment 92346


Please post any suggested changes to test out the original claim.
Ok since the year that I did that the garden was planted by Easter and I was pulling roots and checking soil there in August (4 months) I would suggest your almost 2 month period could produce half of the required depth but you know its still warm so maybe more? Seems reasonable, linear, but reasonable.
 

Meadowlark

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Oh, backing up already :)

I'll run it until soil temps hit 50 deg... that should be some time in Nov.

Let's see what happens.
 

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I am a scientist...retired. I certainly will run it just like you said...10 mL per liter solution every week drenching the test area
 
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The way I always use molasses is as a soil drench. I have a 2 gallon garden bucket into which I put 4 oz molasses and anything else I might need. This will be adequate for 4 tomato plants or about 8-10 square feet. I do this every time I fertilize, every 2 weeks.

Oh so you can use it while watering or fertilizing plants? I was wondering if I could run dissolved sugar through my drip lines. Not sure if it would clog up my lines or not.

I don't have moleasses and never have. Moleasses probably has more carbon content than sugar, right? So there has to be a bit of difference in its affect on the soil?
 
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Oh so you can use it while watering or fertilizing plants? I was wondering if I could run dissolved sugar through my drip lines. Not sure if it would clog up my lines or not.

I don't have moleasses and never have. Moleasses probably has more carbon content than sugar, right? So there has to be a bit of difference in its affect on the soil?
Fertilizing or watering plants. Molasses is a by-product of making sugar. Molasses has a tiny amount of nitrogen but it has a lot of trace minerals. Sugar has none. Molasses doesn't do much for plants per se, except for the minerals. It's main purpose is to feed soil micro-organisms and the minerals are just an added benefit. Sugar is nothing but carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sugar and molasses contain the same amount of carbohydrates, 15 grams per Tablespoon and these carbohydrates are what feed the soil microorganisms. Sugar has more carbon content than molasses at 42% for sugar and about 25% for molasses. But the main difference is the cost of sugar vs molasses. So, in short, sugar will do the same thing molasses does without the benefits of a little nitrogen and all of the trace minerals. I don't see why you couldn't run sugar water through a drip system. All you would have to do is run water through the lines after the sugar water to clean them. The added carbon content of sugar comes from cattle bones which are used as a whitening agent for table sugar. So I suppose sugar also has some properties of bone meal also.
 
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All you would have to do is run water through the lines after the sugar water to clean them.

I can do that. I think I'll try it and see next watering.

My chickens poop in my garden all winter so they add organic fertilizer then, but when I close them out in early spring it is synthetic fertilizer from spring until late fall when they get back in with crimson clover cover crop which also gets tilled in the spring.

I think by doing this, I can keep the microbes lively throughout the gardening season (spring through fall). Anyone see any problems in this method?

You know I just thought of something while sitting on the porch today. The hummingbird feeder (25% sugar) there leaks and drips right next to a peony plant and that thing must be loving it. Definately hasn't hurt it any but haven't looked at the soil because it is covered in rock mulch.
 
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I can do that. I think I'll try it and see next watering.

My chickens poop in my garden all winter so they add organic fertilizer then, but when I close them out in early spring it is synthetic fertilizer from spring until late fall when they get back in with crimson clover cover crop which also gets tilled in the spring.

I think by doing this, I can keep the microbes lively throughout the gardening season (spring through fall). Anyone see any problems in this method?

You know I just thought of something while sitting on the porch today. The hummingbird feeder (25% sugar) there leaks and drips right next to a peony plant and that thing must be loving it. Definately hasn't hurt it any but haven't looked at the soil because it is covered in rock mulch.
Why not blood bone and fish meal? Well let me rephrase that since prions are not alive and to my understanding cannot be sterilized. There are risks. Why not something more organic?
 
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Why not something more organic?

I have plenty of phosphours and potassium in my soil. What I would need is nitrogen later in the season, organic blood meal as you state. At the same time though I don't use that much synthetic fertilizer since I've incorperated the chicken grazing thing. The synthetic is more of a maintenance dose in which I can adjust up or down. I have been using the same 40 lb bag of 20-20-20 for 4 years now in a 1500 ft2 garden if that says anything. This is just the road I happened to have traveled I guess mainly because I use drip lines. I'm happy with it at this point and still plenty of earthworms so I'm not in a dead zone.
 

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Ok since the year that I did that the garden was planted by Easter and I was pulling roots and checking soil there in August (4 months) I would suggest your almost 2 month period could produce half of the required depth but you know its still warm so maybe more? Seems reasonable, linear, but reasonable.
It isn't linear so far. At least for the first two weeks of the test. Linear would be 3.75 inches per week of increased penetration. Thus far none...zero, nada in either test plot. The soil has been frequently drenched with 1% solution and the rain has picked up substantially which should aid penetration naturally, but none so far. Two weeks and 7.5 inches behind already. Not looking good for the one hand, 5 ft rebar penetration...but its early.
 
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What about the soil life? I supposed there is not really an easy way to test that from the average person.
 
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It isn't linear so far. At least for the first two weeks of the test. Linear would be 3.75 inches per week of increased penetration. Thus far none...zero, nada in either test plot. The soil has been frequently drenched with 1% solution and the rain has picked up substantially which should aid penetration naturally, but none so far. Two weeks and 7.5 inches behind already. Not looking good for the one hand, 5 ft rebar penetration...but its early.
Now don't forget I was using jobes tomato tone and epsom salts too. I was running it as rich as possible because more is more right? You might as well plant something there if your going to all this trouble.
 
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Meadowlark

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Now don't forget I was using jobes tomato tone and epsom salts too. I was running it as rich as possible because more is more right? You might as well plant something there if your going to all this trouble.

I'm happy to add Epsom salts and tomato tone to the drench...or whatever else but that wasn't part of the original claim...rebar pushed 5 ft deep with one hand through clay soil... Early results say it's not going to happen, but several weeks yet to go.
 

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