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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old August 26, 2016   #16
brownrexx
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Your pH is WAY low so I would definitely add some lime this year to try to bring it up before spring.

I do not worry about N as it is so volatile. Most labs do not even test for it. Here is an article about N in the soil that you may find helpful

I do not try to adjust individual nutrients unless I see an issue with some of my plants. I just keep adding organic material and my own compost and over time the levels seem to equalize.

I do try to adjust pH if it is too high (which mine usually is).
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Old August 26, 2016   #17
My Foot Smells
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thanks brownrexx. I do usually "top" off the beds with compost each year (2"+) and also fert each plant with plant tone a few times during the season.

In regards to the acidic soil, kind of perplexed. My "city" water is acidic as I did extensive testing on a fish aquarium, but prior tests with a cheap ph meter (free w/ a bag of soil) gave in-range results. Of course, not relying on that piece of garbage and when I get home today will throw in the trash. My clay soil is acidic as well, but these are raised beds with compost/green sand base and added compost each year.

I am completely in the dark on the side numbers to include the K2O reading. My CA seemed ridicuously high to me and other trace mineral results, I do not have a clue.

Adding lime should be an easy amend this fall, but what kind of lime is best for the garden? I have not added any - ever; which stands to reason given results. I know lime is used in a lot of building capacities.

In reality 1000sf would be the total sum of all my garden space, so not a huge task. But if I have a 5'x10'x21" raised bed (which several are), does the cubic component factor?
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Old August 26, 2016   #18
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Your soil test is not totally understandable to me. I don't see any range to know whether Ca of Mg are high or low within their ranges. Maybe you can call the lab to get some guidance on this.
They only seem to tell you if a result is above or below optimum and you can not tell how high or low your result actually is.

I am attaching a copy of my soil test to show you what I am used to seeing and also a link on adding lime and what type. Lime, in addition to raising the pH, is going to add either Ca or Ca and Mg depending on which type you choose. I don't think that an excess of Ca hurts anything, the plants just can't use it (possibly someone else will have an idea on this).

I can't tell from your report whether you could use more Mg or not since I do not know the optimum range.

My soil pH is always high so I never have added lime but I do add sulfur to lower it.

You have probably not caused your pH to be low, it's just the composition of your native soil as well as the amount of rainfall that you receive.


http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/gard...me-to-soil.htm


I have never heard of anyone using the cubic feet to measure, just the square feet so I would do that if I were you.

I hope that this helps, but call the lab and ask them to help you understand the numbers. They are usually quite willing to help you.
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File Type: pdf Soil test 2015.pdf (432.8 KB, 8 views)

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Old August 26, 2016   #19
Barbee
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Crop 2 notes tells you what to add per 1000 sq ft.
I would use calcitic lime and not dolomitic
Hope this helps!

Add your lime this fall and the rest next spring prior to planting
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Last edited by Barbee; August 26, 2016 at 11:29 AM. Reason: More info
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Old August 26, 2016   #20
My Foot Smells
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
Your soil test is not totally understandable to me. I don't see any range to know whether Ca of Mg are high or low within their ranges. Maybe you can call the lab to get some guidance on this.
They only seem to tell you if a result is above or below optimum and you can not tell how high or low your result actually is.

I am attaching a copy of my soil test to show you what I am used to seeing and also a link on adding lime and what type. Lime, in addition to raising the pH, is going to add either Ca or Ca and Mg depending on which type you choose. I don't think that an excess of Ca hurts anything, the plants just can't use it (possibly someone else will have an idea on this).

I can't tell from your report whether you could use more Mg or not since I do not know the optimum range.

My soil pH is always high so I never have added lime but I do add sulfur to lower it.

You have probably not caused your pH to be low, it's just the composition of your native soil as well as the amount of rainfall that you receive.


http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/gard...me-to-soil.htm


I have never heard of anyone using the cubic feet to measure, just the square feet so I would do that if I were you.

I hope that this helps, but call the lab and ask them to help you understand the numbers. They are usually quite willing to help you.

This is the "free" test, they had more comprehensive tests that required payment to process. I like the layout of your lab test better, and also agree that if you are going to assign a number, then there should be some guideline on results. The lab did sent an interpretation booklet (2 pages) but is worthless by all accounts.

I do think the mentality is a garden or soil test is primarily expected to be an in-ground assessment. It would not surprise me if the acidic clay base of the raised beds "married" into the soil composition, or maybe acid rain. Plenty of time this fall to get a good lime soak in the beds though.

Thanks for the fb.
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Old August 26, 2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbee View Post
Crop 2 notes tells you what to add per 1000 sq ft.
I would use calcitic lime and not dolomitic
Hope this helps!

Add your lime this fall and the rest next spring prior to planting
Thanks for the advice. I will call the farmer's market to see if they have a 50# bag for application this fall and also like the idea to give a nice sprinkle in the spring.

I figure this is a baseline Ph of sorts, as I have never added lime or base material. From a compost/green sand 70/30 mix, seems rather unlikely to see such a low number., quite shocked. Primarily tomatoes have been grown in most of the raised beds, so maybe tomatoes have something to do with lowering Ph? (maybe I should be more diligent about ones that fall off the vine and lay amist the soil). My native is modeling clay and acidic.

Calcitic Lime.... thx
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Old August 26, 2016   #22
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My test costs $9 plus and additional $5 for the %OM.

It's cheaper than buying a pizza so I do it every year which is overkill but I like seeing the numbers.

Only use calcitic lime if you are sure that you don't need Mg which would be in the dolomite lime as well as calcium.
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Old August 26, 2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
My test costs $9 plus and additional $5 for the %OM.

It's cheaper than buying a pizza so I do it every year which is overkill but I like seeing the numbers.

Only use calcitic lime if you are sure that you don't need Mg which would be in the dolomite lime as well as calcium.
I should have inquired about the different panels for a small price, maybe next time. In regards to understanding the "Nutrient Availability Index" section, I contacted the lab in Mariana and was met with great response. They are going to send me a pdf file on the values and pull my sample with some explanation. Supposedly with the next hour. I will post the pdf file in this thread.

We shall see.
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Old August 26, 2016   #24
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I posted something here and it never showed up.
I will ask again.
Where do you want your pH to be.
I personally would prefer in the high 5's or low 6's.
In other words dont go crazy with the lime.
Some of the farmers in your area and other places give their fields a good dusting every year or so in the winter or early spring.

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Old August 26, 2016   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I posted something here and it never showed up.
I will ask again.
Where do you want your pH to be.
I personally would prefer in the high 5's or low 6's.
In other words dont go crazy with the lime.
Some of the farmers in your area and other places give their fields a good dusting every year or so in the winter or early spring.

Worth
That's a good question. I would think 6.5 or mid 6's would be ideal (6.2-6.7), as I already know that supplied water is acidic and native soil acidic, so unlike to balloon up all of a sudden. Most beds are approx. 50 sq ft (5'x10'); so at 69lb per 1000sqft comes to 3.45lb per 50sqft.

However, the test results doesn't say what the application will bring the Ph # to? I guess till in a couple of pounds and retest after a month, etc., etc... IDK

I know there are "decent" ph meters on the market, but I don't own one. The one I have is a cheap needle gauge.
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Old August 26, 2016   #26
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soil test pdf file explanation. not helpful, but this is what they sent to me.

soil test 2.pdf
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Old August 26, 2016   #27
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Lime will change your pH very slowly so I would not retest before Spring. It also works best when incorporated into the top 2 inches of soil, not just sprinkled on top.

Your pH is low and it takes a lot of lime to raise it one whole point so don't be afraid to apply it.

I would aim for 6.5 - 6.7 as that is optimum for most vegetables.

Take it from someone who has worked in a Chemistry lab for 20 years - DO NOT waste your money on an at home pH meter. They are notoriously unreliable.

In our lab we calibrated ours with standard solutions every 8 hours to assure accuracy.
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Old August 26, 2016   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
Lime will change your pH very slowly so I would not retest before Spring. It also works best when incorporated into the top 2 inches of soil, not just sprinkled on top.

Your pH is low and it takes a lot of lime to raise it one whole point so don't be afraid to apply it.

I would aim for 6.5 - 6.7 as that is optimum for most vegetables.

Take it from someone who has worked in a Chemistry lab for 20 years - DO NOT waste your money on an at home pH meter. They are notoriously unreliable.

In our lab we calibrated ours with standard solutions every 8 hours to assure accuracy.

I plan on ripping up the garden when things cool off in the fall, so plenty of time. Still have some haggard plants with small green tom's that might pull through if conditions improve.

Thanks for the Ph meter fallacy in modern market. The test is free at the extension, so can provide another sample in March before I make a strong run for springtime planting.

A call to the local farmer's coop discloses a litany of lime options, to include mechanism of delivery. Pellet, dust, granular, rock, etc.... and make 12 different classifications (carbonite, dolomite, etc...)

40# bag as cheap as $4.29 - 7.99 on average.

Really wanting to put my foot into next year and apply my learnings from t-ville.

On a side note:

The recent 8"+ of rain that fell on the natural state wrecked havoc on crops. Reported that some areas had 90% damage to cotton, late corn crops decimated, and soy beans shriveled in the pod.

It has been a rather unusual year. When the guy wearing the mesh crowned john deer ball cap says it is the worst he has ever seen, I tend to believe.
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Old August 26, 2016   #29
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They can always sell corn smut.

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Old August 26, 2016   #30
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The finer the lime is ground, the faster it will change the pH.

However none of them are fast, like overnight. It will still take several months.
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