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Old September 28, 2019   #1
lubadub
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Default CEC and Nutrient Requirements

If a person's CEC (cation exchange content) per soil test were 10 to 15, thus giving their soil the ability to hold lots of nutrients, does this remove the need to add nutrients to the soil during the growing season? Does a high CEC allow you to put enough plant nutrients in your garden soil in the spring such that it will meet the needs of the plants without having to add anything additional during the growing season? How many of you believe you can put everything in in the spring and how many of you fertilize throughout the growing season to make up for what the plants use and what is leached out by rain and watering? I have been adding additional potassium throughout the season and am now thinking I may need to add some magnesium as well.
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Old October 4, 2019   #2
AKmark
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The only way to know the truth is by leaf samples throughout the season.
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Old October 4, 2019   #3
Greatgardens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
The only way to know the truth is by leaf samples throughout the season.
Is this a test that the gardener can run, or just be sent to a state or private lab?
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Old October 5, 2019   #4
lubadub
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Since posting this question I spoke with an agronomist who told me that if my CEC is greater than 10 and I put all the nutrients needed in my soil, based on soil tests and calculated deficiencies, that I should have enough nutrients to make it through the season with no additional nutrients required.

Plant tissue analysis is a whole other topic, is done by a lab and can end up being costly.
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Old October 6, 2019   #5
AKmark
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Originally Posted by lubadub View Post
Since posting this question I spoke with an agronomist who told me that if my CEC is greater than 10 and I put all the nutrients needed in my soil, based on soil tests and calculated deficiencies, that I should have enough nutrients to make it through the season with no additional nutrients required.

Plant tissue analysis is a whole other topic, is done by a lab and can end up being costly.
No it is not. I work with several Agronomist who will disagree. If you want to know if your plant nutrient uptake month to month is perfect, you will turn in leaf samples. Yes, it is not free, but not that expensive either.
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Old October 7, 2019   #6
lubadub
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Akmark, does your agronomist say that no matter how much you have in your soil in the way of nutrients at the start of the season that it will not be enough to make it through the season and that the addition of nutrients throughout the growing season is essential and unavoidable? I wonder how many home growers feel there is no need for in season fertilization unless you recognize a deficiency in the plants. Also $20 dollars or more per tissue analysis repeated monthly might be a little stiff for a home gardener? And add to this the postage which here is around $4 or $5. I can see the value of doing tissue analysis if you are growing an acre or so of tomatoes but not so much for 10 plants. I saw an interesting thing on 60 Minutes last night where a big grower was having his fields observed by satellite and then fertilizing the field via fertigation using computers and actually fertilizing different parts of the same field differently based on soil tests in season. He was associated somehow with Land of Lakes , main product butter and Purina animal feed, which is actually owned by farmers.
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Old October 7, 2019   #7
AKmark
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Originally Posted by lubadub View Post
Akmark, does your agronomist say that no matter how much you have in your soil in the way of nutrients at the start of the season that it will not be enough to make it through the season and that the addition of nutrients throughout the growing season is essential and unavoidable? I wonder how many home growers feel there is no need for in season fertilization unless you recognize a deficiency in the plants. Also $20 dollars or more per tissue analysis repeated monthly might be a little stiff for a home gardener? And add to this the postage which here is around $4 or $5. I can see the value of doing tissue analysis if you are growing an acre or so of tomatoes but not so much for 10 plants. I saw an interesting thing on 60 Minutes last night where a big grower was having his fields observed by satellite and then fertilizing the field via fertigation using computers and actually fertilizing different parts of the same field differently based on soil tests in season. He was associated somehow with Land of Lakes , main product butter and Purina animal feed, which is actually owned by farmers.
Do it your way, you will be fine.
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Old October 7, 2019   #8
brownrexx
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My CEC is 15.4 and I apply no fertilizers to my plants throughout the year.

Per my soil tests, I have excess nutrients in my garden soil from the compost that I apply so nothing additional is needed or applied except some feather meal for nitrogen.
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