Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Copper levels increase nutrient levels - important for barley grass jucing

Copper is an essential trace element and no it is not found in many fertilizer preparations. Copper sulphate is a salt and is the blue color that can sometimes be found on aged copper. Thanks to wikipedia Picture of copper sulphate is below: (pic still coming, blogger having some issues)

Spreading copper into the soil dramatically increases vitamin C levels increasing them by 50%. Once a small amount of copper is added, there is not much of a further increase. Likewise for carotene, a small level produces approximately a 30% increase. When the copper level massively increases it approximately increases the carotene level by a similar amount as from zero to 5 (ie it is non-liner the increase).  

kg's of copper sulphate per acre Vitamin C Carotene
0 29.2 4.0
5 45.1 5.4
50 46.5 6.6

This analysis was undertaken on barley, a grain grown for consumption and very importantly making beer. Therefore if you are growing barley for Juicing make sure you have copper in the soil. A trace element mix is readily available from any garden center.

We currently have an 1/8th of an acre with our house on it, and another 1/8 out the back on a vacant lot, which I am turning into gardening. Given that our house, shed and office takes up about 1/5th of the space, this means I should spread approximately 0.5kg of copper sulphate on our section and 0.6kg of copper sulphate on the back section. I already add copper sulphate into the ground in the trace elements when I plant. Hopefully the seaweed fertilizer that I will use this coming summer will also contain copper of some form.

Reference: Karl Schutte. 1964 The biology of the trace elements.

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