Saturday, January 24, 2009

Burning Your Crops?

Ever hear about people burning stuff on their land, "slash and burn agriculture", torching the trees and grass, in order to enrich the soil? I've heard about it plenty, from colonial America, the Brazilian rainforest, rural China.

In Arizona, forget about it! Ashes do have some nice mineral additions, but their biggest effect is to raise the alkalinity of the soil, decreasing the acidity. Nice in an rain forest, very bad idea in Arizona, or anywhere in the mountain West. Our soil is already high pH, way too alkaline. From what I've read, applying ashes is the best way to drastically up the pH of your soil, so, fellow Arizona Victory-Gardeners, just say no!

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