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SPreading Mineral fertilizer in winter

Posted by Jason MacArthur 
SPreading Mineral fertilizer in winter
February 09, 2019 03:09PM
This weekend presents me with an unusual, at least historically speaking, opportunity- the snowpack largely melted in recent rains but the ground has now frozen up again, leaving the orchard quite accessible by tractor. I am considering spreading Gypsum throughout the orchard at this point since the tractor is sitting idle, something it certainly will not be come May when the ground is dry enough to drive on again.
One one hand this seems like a great chance, but on the other hand I certainly don't want to contribute to water pollution via runoff or lose the minerals I am paying for. Does anyone have a thought on spreading gyspum or similar materials onto the snow?
Re: SPreading Mineral fertilizer in winter
February 09, 2019 05:43PM
Hi Jason,
I love the idea of spreading minerals in the winter, as long as the ground is solid and you're not compacting or rutting up the soil. Additionally gypsum and other "lime-like" substances are not highly soluble, so its unlikely you'll lose any under normal circumstances - massive runoff etc not withstanding. Further, these substances move slowly into the soil profile and while not completely soluble (in the same way blended fertilizers are), they will work into the soil by spring available for the plant. Putting them down in spring means you'll wait at least a full season before they get into the soil profile. But there's more... From a biodynamic perspective as well, this is the time the earth is absorbing cosmic energy and pulling lime in to the soil to strengthen the lime:silica complex. So I like this

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: SPreading Mineral fertilizer in winter
February 10, 2019 08:43PM
Thanks Mike. It seems like the conditions are good: 5 or 6 inches of hard snow, frozen ground, and the gate opens!
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