Baking soil?

Dirtmechanic

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life is a stew and most of that stew likes to cook around the neutral/central part of the pH scale. DNA/RNA are acids after all. as you get off towards either side of the pH scale life becomes less diverse in numbers and the ability to cope with the harsher environments. i'm not sure what the far extremes might be as life can be pretty creative, but i do know that it sure isn't as varied or productive at those extremes. when your environment isn't hospitable/easy then you have to spend more energy on defenses instead of living on easy street. the more defenses you have to put up the harder it becomes to procreate... this is the boundary issues all systems have from organisms to social groups.
Now that you mention it, one of the most fascinating descriptions I have ever heard related to soil was one of fungi using some form of mycelium to extend into a hostile pH area an snare bacteria. I am a geek I know.
 

flowerbug

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just leaving ashes doesn't do much to the pH, if you want to use it in a garden mix it in and water it. but if your pH is already high it is better off to leach the lye out of it (learn to make soap :) )
Now that you mention it, one of the most fascinating descriptions I have ever heard related to soil was one of fungi using some form of mycelium to extend into a hostile pH area an snare bacteria. I am a geek I know.
fungal hyphae can merge when different species mix and they may not form a barrier at all at that point. other times they do. what i find interesting is that they trade nutrients across a wide area. you can have patches of soil with nutrients that plants need and the fungal hyphae will transport those nutrients to plant roots and trade for sugars and probably other things too.

this world is complex and life that we share it with are our entire support system. keep on learning. :)
 

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