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Old April 28, 2020   #1
lubadub
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Default Question about Soil Test

I recently had my soil tested and wondered what I should do to improve it. The soil test results are as follows:
pH 7.1
CEC 11
P 40 ppm
Ca 1500 ppm
Mg 158 ppm
K 172 ppm
Na 50
B 3 ppm
Fe 75 ppm
Mn 50 ppm
Cu 5 ppm
Zn 10 ppm
S 25 ppm Thanks for any input.
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Old May 1, 2020   #2
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Bump!
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Old May 1, 2020   #3
cjp1953
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Who tested your soil?They should have given you recommendations on improvement.Had mine tested done by Penn.State University,they gave me suggestions to correct my conditions.I bought my test kit from a local garden store.
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Old May 1, 2020   #4
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I used them in the past but since switched to Logan Labs. There are quite a few people who are into using Albrecht's Formula and various target values for micro-nutrients. None of the labs really do all that much. I had hoped that some soil expert might take a look at my test and give an opinion. I was especially interested in recommendations for phosphorus, sulfur and boron.
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Old May 1, 2020   #5
DavidP
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If you have a Logan labs rest result you might want to have a look at organicalc

https://growabundant.com/organicalc/

You can type in your numbers and get a recommendation. Of course this requires a subscription. Otherwise look for some of Steve Solomon's charts that may help you. Or get his book, library or otherwise, the intelligent gardener that will lead you through how to analyse those results
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Old May 1, 2020   #6
PaulF
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Mid-West Labs here in Nebraska always include recommendations for the $15 test. I test every other year and their reports are very helpful. University tests are all very good.
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Old May 10, 2020   #7
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Wouldn't you like to be able to look at your soil test and be able to decide what your soil needs on your own rather than depending on someone else to do this for you?
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Old May 10, 2020   #8
DavidP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubadub View Post
Wouldn't you like to be able to look at your soil test and be able to decide what your soil needs on your own rather than depending on someone else to do this for you?

in which case why ask for help in the first place. There are plenty of resources to help make recommendations from those numbers, just requires a bit of work.

Besides the site I suggested above Steve Solomon runs a yahoo group which I think is called soil health and I think that has the work sheets available. I'd really recommend getting or borrowing the book though. It leads you through his system of soil analysis and is interesting by itself

Last edited by DavidP; May 10, 2020 at 07:10 PM.
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Old May 10, 2020   #9
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If only I had an agronomy degree and made recommendations on a daily basis in my area. It IS good idea to research the findings of soil tests but one size fitting all areas of the country is a bit of a stretch for me. I have faith in my local testing lab and the folks doing the recommendations.

Information on soil health is very interesting to me, but not everyone finds it so. Just give me the results and how to fix my garden.
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Old May 11, 2020   #10
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My original question was one based on curiosity alone. The results I posted are what I consider to be perfect values for the CEC listed. What I wanted to see was whether or not others might feel differently about my values and offer changes. I thought this might be the beginning of a longer discussion about what target values should be. There are disagreements among experts particularly on boron, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus target values. I thought we might discuss those things here. What people believe and why. I guess I was wrong. Sorry.
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Old May 11, 2020   #11
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I get what you wanted lubadub, but I for one am not smart enough to be part of a discussion concerning target values. I wish I were. There are plenty of folks on the site who can help out and I will be interested to read along when they join in.
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Old May 11, 2020   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjp1953 View Post
Who tested your soil?They should have given you recommendations on improvement.Had mine tested done by Penn.State University,they gave me suggestions to correct my conditions.I bought my test kit from a local garden store.

I have used Penn State many times in the past also and find their corrective suggestions have been fairly close for optimal results in my N.E. Ohio garden over the years. Usually have to add sulfur to bring down my PH.


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Old May 11, 2020   #13
DavidP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubadub View Post
My original question was one based on curiosity alone. The results I posted are what I consider to be perfect values for the CEC listed. What I wanted to see was whether or not others might feel differently about my values and offer changes. I thought this might be the beginning of a longer discussion about what target values should be. There are disagreements among experts particularly on boron, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus target values. I thought we might discuss those things here. What people believe and why. I guess I was wrong. Sorry.

No need for an apology. I think you didn't explain your initial question too well, came across as here are the soil results and what are your recommendations. If you'd said I think these are pretty good but I'd like some input on what others think it might have had a different response. May have been my misunderstanding as well.
If you're following Albrechts formula are you really alluding to Steve Solomon's work. I really am no expert apart from reading his book and trying to work through a few soil test results according to Steve Solomon's recommendations. Just from a casual read though for Boron if your cec is above 10 it should be targeted at 2, so maybe 3 is a bit high. Also shouldn't your P = K so maybe you should up your Phosphorus.
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Old May 12, 2020   #14
brownrexx
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I also garden in PA and I rely on Penn State for my soil tests. The CEC is the soil's ability to hold nutrients and I prefer the CEC to be higher than 11.

I have 2 gardens and the CEC's are 15.4 and 17.9. Anything above 20 means that there is too much for the plants to use.

I also like to check my levels of organic material and they are 8.4% and 12.4% which shows that I have organic material in the soil to decompose and feed my plants. I garden organically and do not add fertilizers.

My results on the other nutrients is given in lbs/acre so I can not compare my results to your to your results in ppm. You need to know what the range is for your area to know what is optimal. Your soil testing lab should be able to tell you this.
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Old May 12, 2020   #15
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Albrecht's Formula addresses Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and Sodium based on a soil's cation exchange content. These values are pretty much accepted by most of the people writing organic books with some slight disagreement on Potassium. The real problems start when experts discuss Nitrogen, Boron, Sulfur and Phosphorus. Usually values are given for soil with a CEC above 10 and below 10. Most growers of small gardens are above 10. I am wondering what values those of you who are above CEC of 10 are aiming toward for sulfur and phosphorus and why?
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