I don't think I ever realized what detail soil testing could offer!!
I live under a cloak of Oaks and Pines so I always just figured my soil could use some lime periodically except my acid loving plants of course. I always tossed wood ash aimlessly around the yard and gardens and I buy bone meal or just toss bones in the compost bin and I'm always looking for Doo.
My plantings look "ok" but maybe a detailed analysis would inprove things. I know UMass does them and I beleive they are on the cheap side. I guess it's time to mix up a few samples and see what they say.
STELLA!!! It sounds like some sort of garden blasphemy to suggest avoiding potassium, wood ash and MANURE!!! Those things form the backbone of my soil here. What is your source of sufficient Nitrogen and don't you need it?
STELLA!!! Do you know how they test fot tilthe?? I thought you had to kneel down with another gardener crumbling up soil in you hand for that to be determined.
The only places where I would call my soil tilthy is places I have worked hard.
Planter, you have clearly watched "A Streetcar Named Desire." Your Brando imitation was dead on
Before I had my soil tested, I always used bagged manure as an amendment. I like it! Unfortunately, it adds to the alkalinity of the PH here, which can run pretty darned high. (Mine was 7.2) I compost. Lots. Now I just use compost. For nitrogen, I use fish emulsion in my compost tea. I really don't need any more. Oh. I like to use composted manure in my compost tea, too, but I don't think it's in large enough quantities to harm anything.
I tried to find my analysis, but I don't know what I did with it. What they do in the analysis is tell you how much you need to add of each macronutrient to make your soil perfect. My phosphorous and nitrogen were, like, .3 or .03; I can't remember which. My potassium, though, was something like -3 or -.3. So, no wood ash for me.
As for the tilth, they tell you whether you have loam, clay, or sand. I think mine was loam and clay. Maybe it was loamy clay or sandy loam. I will go crazy if I don't find that analysis!