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Old April 12, 2016   #1
Lindalana
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Default Mineralization of soil

So I have been struggling with making my soil nutrients more avail to plants.
Have been doing all the good stuff- compost, compost brews, AC teas, kelp, molasses fish, foliar, bit of limestone Ca and Fish meal, Kelp as supplement dry, humates. Used Microbe life products.
Ok, soil at community gardens is tilled twice a year. So I felt adding biological life is a priority.
After talking to some smart people I am getting somewhat conflicting advice- i.e. I need to treat my soil as depleted from minerals even that I have enough of them in.
from the article http://mineralizedgardens.com/mineralized-soil.html
"Typical products used to create soil energy are calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, urea, ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate, MAP, super phosphate, liquid fertilizers, and sea solids. For organics nothing beat high nitrogen fish and Chilean nitrate. Manures and compost will supply some soil energy as well."
LaMotte test is showing what is available for plants. Above test Mehlich shows what is actual in the soil.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Erickson CSI results (1).pdf (285.6 KB, 40 views)

Last edited by Lindalana; April 12, 2016 at 11:48 AM.
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Old April 12, 2016   #2
Cole_Robbie
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http://www.cropservicesintl.com/soil-testing/

Which one of their tests did you buy? I was just wondering.

The article isn't bad, but it's written by someone selling a product, so I take everything with a little healthy skepticism.
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Old April 12, 2016   #3
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
http://www.cropservicesintl.com/soil-testing/

Which one of their tests did you buy? I was just wondering.

The article isn't bad, but it's written by someone selling a product, so I take everything with a little healthy skepticism.

I was going to say the same thing but I wanted company before I said it.
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Old April 12, 2016   #4
Lindalana
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I got CEC and LaMotte. My LaMotte did not change in 2 years despite doing " all the right things" so to speak.
It seems like there are two different schools- one believes that everything will grow even in rock if there is proper microbial life and second- that getting soil geology up and boosting soil energy comes ahead of any microbial life one can introduce.
Gardening at community gardens has been a challenge- tilling, growing same things in same spot have multiplied diseases to huge level. So am in need of solutions that are not poisonous, I do not believe in use of pesticides/ insecticides for growing your own food.
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Old April 14, 2016   #5
Lindalana
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Here is except from Jon Frank podcast/ emails, one could sign up for whole series of those emails. I like reading them. I have read similar reviews from other sources as well.
http://www.highbrixgardens.com/30-da...riculture.html
"The natural inclination of most people is to load up this soil with a plentiful supply of compost or aged manure. In theory compost can supply a whole lot of minerals and it may be cheap, local, and available. DON'T DO IT! This is the shackle that imprisons soil to produce poor to mediocre quality. Only use compost to the extent of the soils need for potassium and no more.

Here is another principle. Build and maintain phosphorous levels with Soft Rock Phosphate--not poultry manure, not hard rock phosphate, not commercial fertilizers exclusively. Why?

Soft Rock Phosphate is a colloidal clay rich in trace minerals that gets really sticky when wet. It is very important that SRP be included because it helps hold the calcium in the root zone. This is one of the secrets of raising available calcium in rain depleted soils.
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Old April 14, 2016   #6
Cole_Robbie
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For what it's worth, the soil I grow in is almost entirely made of composted hay. I get huge plants, big yields, and much better flavor than before I started doing things this way. That's why I asked about the soil test. I'm just curious how it would come back. I don't use fertilizer except in tiny amounts.

Everyone's compost is different. I have bought bagged compost that was basically poison, something about the mineral content being way off I think.

And plants will grow in rocks. Hydroponics often uses clay pebbles as a media.

Maybe someone else has had the experience of too much compost in their garden. But I think with the vast majority of gardeners, they have too little.
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Old April 14, 2016   #7
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I couldn't read anything at either link, so it's hard to comment about it... yet I think that the comment about compost is very contrary to everything I've seen.

A good compost is really an ideal soil for the microbial beneficials and for the exchange of nutrients to the plants. Compost normalizes extreme mineral soil conditions which are different everywhere. Just from looking at the list of topics on your second link, I have to wonder, is this man's method very specific to his own soil and climate conditions?

Besides compost, some nice rich fertilizers will definitely produce a better yield. Dried chicken manure dug in before planting with other amendments gave me the best production, and I had healthier plants too when I continue to feed them after fruit set. As long as your fertilizers are organic and not a big excess, I don't think you need to worry about having a bad effect on microbial life. I also think the theory of mycos is very sound except that they cannot really take the place of fertilizer if you want a high yielding crop. They are helpers but they have limits too.

IMO the best way to soften the negative impact of tilling, is to plant carrots, cilantro or parsely in the beds and let them get established before your time to plant tomatoes. All the plants in that umbelliferous family are obligate hosts and excellent hosts for mycorrhizae and those three will grow in cooler weather. Then just plant the tomatoes among them when the time comes, and pull carrots or harvest the herbs/mulch over them to make more space for the toms as needed.
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Old April 14, 2016   #8
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I can find a dozen different ways to do things on the internet.
All of them coming from so called experts.
Many of them have something to sell.
I can assure you none of them have a clue about your conditions or soil.
Luckily I have had to face many types of soil and winged my way through good results.
In any of of these situations one of these experts advice will work to a point but not completely.
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Old April 14, 2016   #9
Lindalana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I couldn't read anything at either link, so it's hard to comment about it... yet I think that the comment about compost is very contrary to everything I've seen.

A good compost is really an ideal soil for the microbial beneficials and for the exchange of nutrients to the plants. Compost normalizes extreme mineral soil conditions which are different everywhere. Just from looking at the list of topics on your second link, I have to wonder, is this man's method very specific to his own soil and climate conditions?

Besides compost, some nice rich fertilizers will definitely produce a better yield. Dried chicken manure dug in before planting with other amendments gave me the best production, and I had healthier plants too when I continue to feed them after fruit set. As long as your fertilizers are organic and not a big excess, I don't think you need to worry about having a bad effect on microbial life. I also think the theory of mycos is very sound except that they cannot really take the place of fertilizer if you want a high yielding crop. They are helpers but they have limits too.

IMO the best way to soften the negative impact of tilling, is to plant carrots, cilantro or parsely in the beds and let them get established before your time to plant tomatoes. All the plants in that umbelliferous family are obligate hosts and excellent hosts for mycorrhizae and those three will grow in cooler weather. Then just plant the tomatoes among them when the time comes, and pull carrots or harvest the herbs/mulch over them to make more space for the toms as needed.
Thanks for suggestion! It is cool idea, I make sure to work on companion planting as timing of growing carrots etc ahead is not doable for me, I get land avail April 1 and plant tomatoes about April 20 in WOW.
I think this part of the view comes from Dr Carey Reams teachings, and they are considered to be controversial. But there is always two sides of the story.
Yes, I concur with everyone, me knowing my soil is the best thing to happen and evaluating and experimenting.
Last year I felt my community garden soil did not have soil energy. I did get plenty but felt it was a tough battle.
My plan for this year-am adding only top dress compost this year, my OM is pretty decent. Switched to Soft rock phosphate instead of fish meal. Will use urine for nitrogen sources as well as bat guano. Will add calcium nitrate and small amounts of MAP as periodic feeding. I have added sulfur, gypsum, sodium, manganese and borax as per soil test readings.
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Old April 14, 2016   #10
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I know what you mean about a battle! Last year, I just couldn't give enough, just scrambling to find something else to feed them... humbug.
This time, the flakey dried chicken manure is coming around again, my two friends split a ton and one of them will sell me a couple of bags - it is way way cheaper than the stuff I got last year in pellets. So thank goodness.
Hope this year is great for you... you always have the best grow list of tomatoes!!
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Old April 15, 2016   #11
Lindalana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I know what you mean about a battle! Last year, I just couldn't give enough, just scrambling to find something else to feed them... humbug.
This time, the flakey dried chicken manure is coming around again, my two friends split a ton and one of them will sell me a couple of bags - it is way way cheaper than the stuff I got last year in pellets. So thank goodness.
Hope this year is great for you... you always have the best grow list of tomatoes!!
Bower, you are too kind! And very lucky to have right friends with supply of manure
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Old April 29, 2016   #12
Darrell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindalana View Post
Here is except from Jon Frank podcast/ emails, one could sign up for whole series of those emails. I like reading them. I have read similar reviews from other sources as well.
http://www.highbrixgardens.com/30-da...riculture.html
"The natural inclination of most people is to load up this soil with a plentiful supply of compost or aged manure. In theory compost can supply a whole lot of minerals and it may be cheap, local, and available. DON'T DO IT! This is the shackle that imprisons soil to produce poor to mediocre quality. Only use compost to the extent of the soils need for potassium and no more.

Here is another principle. Build and maintain phosphorous levels with Soft Rock Phosphate--not poultry manure, not hard rock phosphate, not commercial fertilizers exclusively. Why?

Soft Rock Phosphate is a colloidal clay rich in trace minerals that gets really sticky when wet. It is very important that SRP be included because it helps hold the calcium in the root zone. This is one of the secrets of raising available calcium in rain depleted soils.
Where do you find soft rock sulfate?
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Old April 29, 2016   #13
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Check with your local farm suppliers. I had to order it- they no longer stocked it at my local guy, but they were willing to get it for me. Took about a week. The manufacturer was Espoma out of Millville, NJ. 30 years ago when I lived in Missouri, I used to be able to pick it up in bulk at a warehouse that sold all sorts of different organic fertilizers in Kansas City. I haven't been able to find such a place around here. Good luck!
Garden centers didn't know what I was talking about. Once you apply it, the application is good for about 10 years.
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Old April 29, 2016   #14
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Thanks, will follow up.
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Old July 9, 2016   #15
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Although he definitely has something to sell, I find a lot of compelling ideas from Gary Kline of Black Lake Organics. He makes a compelling case for increasing fertility levels by using compost, balanced mineralization and biochar.

Check out his writings at The Black Lake Organics website.

Glenn
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