Azolla Update - Putting it to good use
My grey water treatment pond is functioning well. This time of year (November, late spring, early summer, here in Southern Australia) all life is flourishing and vigorous. Birds, frogs, lizards, small mammals, bushes, shrubs, creepers.... they are reproducing and busy.
Air temperature as I harvest the Azolla is approx. 17 Celsius. Water temperature in the pond is 12 Celsius.
Azolla filiculoides treating grey water
The amount of Azolla removed from the pond was 2 x 25-litre buckets. Biomass is considerable, thick and bulky.
Particles of duckweed (Lemna minor) and Wollfia are seen floating on top of the water after removal of Azolla. It is my expectation that the duck weed will quickly grow and spread to take advantage of the open water. As Azolla grows and recovers, within a one week or two, then duck weed will be pushed back once more.
Gooseberry, Raspberry and Blueberry...... the subsoil here is mostly gravelly clay, with many large and medium rocks of Dolerite. Topsoil is predominantly plant debris, twigs, leaves, etc., from Eucalyptus sp., various Acacia, "dogwood" Pomederis apetala. Slightly acid, little nitrogen.
Composted materials (food waste, well-composted humanure, (see www.humanurehandbook.com), composted tree trimmings and sawdust) have been added to the topsoil for the past couple of years. This is gradually serving to increase soil productivity and support micro/macro organisms that might help to increase fertility and moisture retention.
The top 150-200mm of top soil dries out rapidly as we approach hotter days towards the end of the year. My guess is that a mulch of Azolla will both protect the soil and provide slow-release fertiliser.
Fresh Azolla spread over soil around the plants, avoiding as much as possible contact between plant stems and Azolla.
These raised beds of strawberries help to keep slugs and snails at bay.
for further information
A good source of information about Azolla sp. can be obtained from The Azolla Foundation
Many people around the world are researching various aspects of Azolla and the benefits we can obtain through working with nature instead of against it.