Hi Jo. Brix, as I understand it, is a term that is used to describe the level of dissolved sugar solids in a plant. The higher the brix count, the healthier the plant. The fertility of the soil will determine the health, and therefore the brix count of the plant. An instrument called a refractometer is used to measure the brix count by taking a couple of drops and applying on the surface of the lens. You hold it up to a light source and will see a chart of numbers with a line going across at some point through the eyepiece which indicates the brix reading. A good way to measure the success or not of one's labors over time to increase the fertility of the soil. Applying foliar feeds to plants will also contribute to a higher brix count in addition to soil ammendments. There are probably others who have worked with brix counts and refractometers that could give you more information and more accurate, but that is what it is in a nutshell. Hope that helps.
Since grasshoppers are such an aggressive pest, I wondered if high brix counts deterred their desire for healthy plants. I've always understood that garden pests really only go after plants that are not at a certain level of healthiness that they serve as one of many pests to get rid of weak and unhealthy plants.
Post by mnjrutherford on Jun 30, 2009 17:42:27 GMT -5
Fascinating! A bit over my head technology wise, but fascinating none the less. Thank you. That was expressed very well. We do have poor soil that we are working on bit by bit, but the fiscal and learning curve costs are probably more than we can turn to at this time. I will have to file it for future when we are in the process of fine tuning and really developing the ultimate landscape of our property.
For now, our bug issue is to bring the population into balance. You made reference to the need for insects as part of the "disposal" system for unhealthy plants. I concur with that opinion. Our property shares a 400' border with a farmer who plants and harvests Monsanto Round Up Ready (RUR) corn and soy. This, is our biggest problem as the massive quantities of chemicals he uses totally corrupts the balance. Since that balance has been out of whack for years now, it's going to take us a while to observe, focus, and address needs as they present themselves.
Well, my 9 year old is here and demanding much needed time and attention. Welcome to the forum!
Jo - A developing farmer based on Bible teachings. Diversity, research, and chemical independence are key. Our top soil is about 12 to 18 inches of depleted sandy loam. Under that is a layer of light colored clay. Our sons will soon have more information as they learn to dig deeper and deeper holes.
Post by arrakisranch on Jul 1, 2009 19:41:29 GMT -5
I use molasses both in bread-making and for compost tea. We also have horses and I've not seen molasses alone in the feed store. The COB (grain mix) for horses comes already mixed with the molasses. Is there anything magic about the molasses that works better than plain white or brown sugar? Brown sugar is just white sugar coated with molasses. What quantities of water, castings, molasses, are people using for their tea? How often can I spray it on the plants? I only used it a couple of times and would appreciate more info.
Worm farmer & extreme gardener
Homegrown Seed Development and Project Coordinator
Johno: Thanks for the link. Think lactobacillus/bokashi/Azotobacter/Mycorrhizas
Always pay it forward. grungysgarden.blogspot.com/ I am located about 10 miles. north of the Idaho panhandle and just below Kootenay Lake. The property lies in a small microclimate that gives me a zone 5/6 Canadian version or 6/7 US version. One acre of land at an elevation of 1770', just off the edge of a flood plain. Sandy loam soil, hot days and cool nights (55F).
Me too! I picked up some feed molases as well as some brewers grains for really cheap from the neighbors the other day, fantastic for compost, feeding the worms, oh and the turkeys!
Just a farmer/gardener with a message board! homegrowngoodness.blogspot.com Average last frost May 10, First Frost October 15'th. Hot and Humid Summers. Full sun plots, rolling hills, plots planted on southern and south western facing slopes. Greenhouses kept at 70 Degrees F.
When I was growing veggies in a flat garden verse a raised beds I have now. I often would spray a fermented mixture of molasses, water and yeast. I would spray this on once or twice a week and it really vitalized the soild bugs and eathworms everything seemed to grow much faster, better and more sesistant to disease and bad bugs, I haven't done this yet with my raised beds but soon will along with mixing in some Brewers grains to help build the soil up even more. George W.