STEW - Space Temperature Elements(Elements are single groups of atoms of the same kind such as calcium and nitrogen. They are not nutrients) & Water"THE STEW
We believe, if we have a bowl (we are not getting into who, why and how the bowl came into existence) and in this bowl, we have a given amounts of ingredients, known as STEW, (Space, Temperature, Elements, & Water) a system will develop to optimize the suns energy. When we change the amounts of any or all the STEW, then our system begins to operate at about the means, in which it was designed. (STRESS) If this continues then the system begins to operate beyond the means in which it was designed. (STRAIN) We can reverse stress but we cannot reverse strain. This is a little more important when we get to tree care. Because most of our GARDEN plants are replaced next year and the tree must have stored enough energy to continue growth for many years to come. Remember, every action takes energy and the energy is in the form of glucose which comes from the sun.
When we take our garden plants and our trees and take away the organic matter from the soil in attempt to replace it with chemical fertilizers we are depleting our soils and therefore upsetting the STEW and inviting fungus and pest to do what they do best "CLEAN UP". See, in nature when one system begins to operate inefficiently, another system will come and take over.
In nature, when a tree becomes stressed, it begins to reduce in size. 101 physics says you must have enough energy to support your mass. So the tree reduces in size. Unfortunately the first thing we have begun to do is add the chemical element Nitrogen to increase the size of the tree. The only thing nitrogen is capable of doing is making trees grow big, green, and fast.
So they say more green tissues than more photosynthesis and energy. But wait a minute be cause there is the LAW of diminishing returns. I believe that 90% of the sucking insect problems are due to chemical fertilization in trees and crops. Nitrogen has always been a limiting factor. Until around 100 years ago the trees would whenever they could, use all the nitrogen available because it was only available in limited quantities. (I believe this is the same in our garden products) Now we have begun to bring in chemical fertilizers and the trees and garden plants canít use it and it becomes available in high amounts, consequently the insects love it. For example take a Christmas Tree grower who adds excessive amounts of Nitrogen to gain 4" of growth and he ends up with a whole list of sucking insects he has to treat. WHY CONTAMINATE OUR GROUND WATER? Where is the money advantage to all of of this? Nitrogen is not cheap nor are the pesticides. Much more expensive then income from 4" of growth.
The bottom line is that organic materials help the soil, and I know of no proof that chemical fertilizers do.
(See: Cluster Planting 2)GRASS AND TREES
Trees developed in groups and grasses in the fields. Man has now begun to mix grasses and trees. The trees do not have a symbiosis relationship with the grasses. What is good for one may not be good for the other. Grass does not add much organic material that the tree can use. However, fallen leaves and dead twigs (mulch) do. Grass takes water and elements from the soil around the tree while mulch will reduce soil compaction and retain water. We should not plant grass near trees. In a sense grass will kill a tree by depletion of required elements and water. Mycorrhizae (root-fungus) that facilitate the absorption of water and elements flourish in leaf compost and not in grass. I have traveled around the country looking at these little wonders under microscopes. There for, not only are the grasses taking water and elements, but the preferred homes of the mycorrhizae are raked away every year leaving only grass to compete and not facilitate. Many trees and grasses also have different pH requirements and when people lime the acid loving tree, the required elements are just much more tied up and not available. So often the problem is thought to be lack of elements in the soil. Lawn mowers and string trimmers are not friends of trees neither are the chemicals put down to get rid of so-called weeds in the grass. If you require a healthy tree I suggest always, do not plant grass or flowers near your tree. Plant in groups. Just look at all the people with pest and fungus problems. How many can you count that have grass and flowers under the trees?
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