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You Can’t Grow Beans From Cracks in the Ground

By   /  November 26, 2018  /  2 Comments

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Although I was trained in science, I never really made much of a scientist. All that sitting around
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About the author

John Marble grew up on a terribly conventional ranch with a large family where each kid had their own tractor. Surviving that, he now owns a small grazing and marketing operation that focuses on producing value through managed grazing. He oversees a diverse ranching operation, renting and owning cattle and grasslands while managing timber, wildlife habitat and human relationships. His multi-species approach includes meat goats, pointing dogs and barn cats. He has a life-long interest in ecology, trying to understand how plants, animals, soils and humans fit together. John spends his late-night hours working on fiction, writing about worlds much less strange than this one.


  1. Doug says:

    Some areas of TX have vertisol clay soils (shrink/swell clay type). Crack wide enough for an 8N tire to fit and depths over 10′. These soils are droughty in nature as small steady rain events infiltrate the cracks, but heavy rains swell the clay and close cracks before significant infiltration. The point, some soils have more crack potential than others.

    Small areas of bare ground or sparse vegetation are necessary habitat for the lifecycle of some wildlife species. These areas should not be fretted but rather considered as one piece of the mosaic in habitat required by wildlife.

  2. Bob Gillaspy says:

    Cracks in the soil are very common in California. They are especially evident during the summer dry season, even with a good cover of litter. I look at the cracks as a way for deep cycling of water and nutrients to occur, especially when they seem to occur regardless of management activities.
    In areas where these cracks can be minimized, it is likely better to not have them. As you observed, cool and moist conditions help minimize cracks in the soil.

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