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Re: Fertilizing

Rates might have been a better word, most clays have all of the minerals
needed for plant growth but they must be changed to other forms to be used
by the plants. Clay is easily changed from it's form by chemical reactions
but is often tied up. The fungi glomalin breaks down the organic matter and
carries it into the clay picking up bits and pieces of minerals from the
clay which are called aggregates of soil. 

Picture this root like part of the fungi (hyphae) which has a sticky
substance (glomalin) coated with minerals. Lick your finger and stick in
salt and that is sort of what it would look like. Now the good part, the
fungi has turned the minerals into a form the plant can use. Here sits
these aggregates of soil attached to the fungi, along comes the plant roots
and uses what it needs. Furthermore it causes the soil to retain moisture
with out being water logged. Ain't God smart.

One bit of work seems to indicate that there would be 2 plant roots feeding
at the same fungus. These 2 plants seem to pass minerals back and forth to
each other? Wild eh! This same researcher suggest that mono culture is not
good and a critical mass of 7 different plants are necessary for a healthy
ecosystem. Our beds of nothing but hosta are not good for the hosta.

>My question now for you is...WHAT are cation exchange numbers and how does 
>that make simple clay good in a pot as opposed to dirt?  By the way, I 
>thought I'd do the work myself and look it up in AOL's dictionary....and I 
>got a good chuckle to see that their definition didn't enlighten me a bit.  
>So would you please explain it in terms that a novice can understand? 
>Cindy Johnson
>White Bear Lake, MN
>zone 4a
>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@mallorn.com with the
Butch Ragland So. Indiana zone 5

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