Soil Culture on World Soil Day 2016

Something to celebrate World Soil Day 2016 and it’s only £15 – buy it here

pagecover

…. and the cob shed is in the back pages

page

Advertisements

Plant Invasion of the Soil Sensors

The primary invaders of the soil sensors are established, some are coming into flower so they’re feeling right at home. I’ve had many surprises as this project has unfolded, I wasn’t expecting the surrounding flora to feature quite so heavily in the outcomes, for example the Sticky Weed (Cleavers/Galium aparine), Bramble (Wild Black Berry/Rubus fruticosus) and Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) are quite aggressive invaders, all leaning into view or casting a shadow from off stage. I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting this, it’s obvious really when you think about it, but I was preoccupied with seeds blowing in from above rather than suckers, tubers, climbers and ramblers creeping in from below.

Sensors 4 and 5 are under large trees so fallen twigs and leaves feature quite heavily, there’s not much light so only the bramble has made a start.

Sensor no.2 is a particularly good example of the plant invasion. It’s surrounded by allotments which is probably why there are so many common weeds.

Soil Sensor work in progress

Work in progress, grid of 12 tiles for soil sensor 2015
Work in progress, grid of 12 tiles for soil sensor 2015

So here we are, a grid of 12 just to see how it’s shaping up as an idea and what the end result might look like. I suppose it makes more sense to wait until it’s finished before publishing but I’m quite excited and impatient. Had some initial problems with very hardy seeds that came with the soil but they’re weeded out and hopefully that should be it. It’s interesting to see how the soil has leveled out, broken down and weathered into a much finer till. I’m also coming to terms with the fact that children, dogs, cats, rabbits, mice and bunch other things are going to be collaborators on this project. I have also noticed some rather tough perennials breaking through the matting and showing an appearance. It’s going to be an interesting and unpredictable few months.

Dad made a Soil Sensor

So the soil, wood and fabric have been delivered and since I was getting my hands dirty I gave the camera to my 5yr old to document proceedings.

Words and pictures by Tean.

Dad putting the wooden frame together ©Tean Ingate
Daddy drilling it together ©Tean Ingate
Daddy drilling it together ©Tean Ingate
The frame is finished ©Tean Ingate
The frame is finished ©Tean Ingate
Filling it in with soil ©Tean Ingate
Filling it in with soil ©Tean Ingate
The soil sensor is filled up very high with soil ©Tean Ingate
The soil sensor is filled up very high with soil ©Tean Ingate