Friday, April 6, 2012

Garden Prep - Soil Testing.

Okay, I won't bore you with the old yada-yada soil-testing crap again. Instead I'll bore you with NEW yada-yada soil-testing crap (Honestly, this post is gonna be boring as sh*t so just move along if you don't want to totally start hating me).

If you want to read something almost-entertaining instead, check-out the Bee-Saga which starts here: Bee Saga: Chapter I.

Or, if you're a soil-testing/gardening whack-job, by all means continue reading! :-D

Go here if you want to review the "How To Test Your Soil" stuff, and read Finny's Most Awesome - and actually INTERESTING - instructions (linked from there). And here if you want to see more pictures and read about my last years' results.

I do want to post the test results though (sans pictures - but the vials and colors are pretty-much the same!)

This year, the results aren't quite as good. But that's not surprising - given the hugely productive summer garden and the fact that I have continued gardening thru winter. I will definitely be amending my soil. But I like to type it out so that (Hey!!!), I can look back later and see what I did.

Left (Old) Bed.....Right (Not-as-old) Bed
pH 6.5.................pH 6.5 - Slightly Acid but close-enough to neutral!
N 0......................N 0 - Depleted (No surprise there!)
P 1-2...................P 1 - Deficient to Adequate (2=Adequate)
K 3......................K 3-4 - Adequate to Surplus (4=Surplus)

So obviously I need to add Nitrogen (Blood Meal) and *some* Phosporous (Bone Meal).

Finny demonstrated all the math in Part III of her series.

The Test-Kit package recommendations are based on 100 sq. ft. of garden. I have 2 beds totaling 50 sq. ft. so I'll take the recommendations from the chart and divide by 2 (then halve it again so I have my "per bed" amendment requirements).

Chart sez if Nitrogen is depleted and you're growing fruits/vegetables, you need 14-14.5 oz of Nitrogen Fertilizer. Half of that is roughly 7. And half again is 3.5 oz per bed.

Chart isn't entirely clear on Phosphorous (different requirements for fruits vs. veggies and "Deficient" vs. "Adequate") so I think I'm gonna average it out and go with the "low-end" of Deficient which is close to the "high-end" of Adequate and I'm just babbling now!

4 oz is a nice round and easily-dividable number so I'm going for 2 oz. divided by 2 = 1 oz of Bone-Meal per bed!

Got that?
  • Nitrogen Depleted so I'm going for the max amt recommended for anything other than lawns: 14 oz per 100 sq.ft. which ends up equaling 3.5 oz Blood Meal for each of my beds!
  • Phosphorous getting low, so I'm gonna toss in 1 oz. of Bone Meal for each bed.
And now I can go back and reference that next year - Yay Me!

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