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Garden with Insight Kurtz-Fernhout Software
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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: Simulation options window: soil auto panel

In the simulation options window, the soil auto panel contains the following items. Click on the Soil auto button at the bottom of the window to see the soil auto panel.

The check boxes in the Soil auto panel control whether various auto operations are carried out. In an auto operation, the simulation acts as if you were using tools at the appropriate times. If an option is checked, the process is turned ON for all soil patches, overriding any individual settings. This is the default when you create a new garden. If an option is unchecked, the process is turned OFF for all soil patches. If an option is grayed (filled in but not checked), settings in individual soil patches are used for the option. You can change options for individual soil patches in the browser (see the Soil params options group). By default each soil patch has all auto operations turned on when it is created.

Auto water: If any plant in a soil patch is water stressed (below a parameter), apply enough water to saturate all layers of the soil patch to field capacity. A fraction of the water (a parameter) is lost due to runoff.

Auto fertilize: If any plant in a soil patch is nitrogen stressed (below a parameter), and the required number of days has passed since the last fertilization, add nitrate and labile P fertilizer directly to the second soil layer of the soil patch.

Auto control pH: At the end of each year, attempt to return the soil pH to 6.5. If the soil is highly weathered, it is well buffered and only enough lime is added to counteract aluminum toxicity in the soil. In this model pH is changed only by fertilization and liming.

Auto harvest: Harvest fruits and other plant parts as soon as they become mature. For plants that must be pulled up to be harvested (such as carrots), harvest the entire plant as soon as it is mature.

Auto maintain furrow dikes: Build and maintain dikes (retaining walls) at intervals along the soil furrows (troughs). Furrow dikes prevent water from running off the soil, reducing erosion and allowing water to be absorbed more slowly so plants get more water from each rainfall.

Auto maintain drainage system: Build and maintain drainage pipes in one of the soil layers so that excess water in that layer drains off instead of pooling and causing aeration stress to the plants. You can change in which layer the drainage system is installed in the browser.

The simulation options window with Soil auto panel

Option sets

You can also choose one of the quick choice buttons on the right: Magic, Beginner, Advanced or Expert. These sets make growing plants increasingly difficult as you move down the list by changing plant growth options and auto operations. They do not affect the weather soil patch options.

Magic: Turns on all plant optimal growth options and all auto operations.

Beginner: Turns on all plant optimal growth options except optimal germination, optimal radiation, optimal water uptake, optimal temperature, and ignore photoperiod. Turns on all auto operations except auto irrigation.

Advanced: Turns off all plant optimal growth options except optimal phosphorus uptake, optimal soil strength for root growth, ignore leaf senescence, ignore aluminum toxicity, and ignore aeration stress. Turns off all auto operations.

Expert: Turns off all plant optimal growth options all auto operations.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.