I posted this in another forum, but I lurk here too so I figured I would ask around here...I am looking for input on my new soil test results. I have been looking around here and elsewhere online, but I figured I would see if anyone had any thoughts for actions I should or could or shouldn't take.
First some background so you know what I have been up to and then the soil test for which I seek feedback.
I have been using square foot gardening in four small raised beds for vegetables (including every year tomatoes, peppers, kale, collards, beets, eggplant, zucchini, garlic and some years various others like cabbage or tomatillo). Three beds are 3'x4' and one is 2'x4'.
I started with Mel's Mix and have added my own compost each year and last year added my own compost, a year old bag of manure, a couple other bags of compost or other organic rich amendments, some many years old and well-composted sheep manure, greensand, and azomite, all in an effort to counteract compaction and decreased productivity and loosen the soil mix, which I am not sure really worked on any counts; the new ingredients were thoroughly mixed in last fall.
In the past I have used blood meal and added bone meal when planting and for the last two years have used a Fox Farms balanced organic fertilizer both when planting seedlings and once or twice as side dressing, and also a couple applications of fish emulsion as a combo drench-foliar feeding.
Productivity of fruiting varieties has decreased over the last couple years noticeably, but collards and kale certainly seem to do fine and in general plants seem healthy, just not so fruitful.
We had terribly success with direct sowing this year with low germination and damping off of most plants that did germinate. Given the decrease in productivity and poor germination/damping off (and the soil texture from the test...see below), I suspect I have drainage problems at least if not also fertility.
Now to the results and my comments in parentheses. These are from the UM soil lab, which provides relatively meager tests for the home gardener. I chose not to pay for determinations of SO4, Zn, Mg, Cu, Bo, or Pb. I would be most obliged to get any and all thoughts and reactions to the information above and that below.
SOIL TEST RESULTS
Organic matter: 20.8% (because it is basically Mel's Mix)
Soil texture: muck (Presumably because it is Mel's Mix. I plan to add some medium sand and very coarse sand-fine gravel this fall to work on the texture and improve drainage)
Soluble salts: 0.4 mmhos/cm (no concerns at all)
pH: 7.2 (I think just past the high end of ideal, so maybe I do nothing? Add sulfur?)
Phosphorus: >100 ppm based on Bray 1 extraction (this is the one that for sure puzzles and confused me...Not sure why it is so high unless it is a result of past additions of relatively small amounts of bone meal, the additions of aged manure last year (one bag of steer, two kitty litter tubs of sheep), or just from adding compost regularly. Do I do anything other than avoid manures and any amendments/fertilizers with P?)
Potassium: 180 ppm (A little high, so maybe no greensand for a year?)
Calcium: 2628 ppm
Magnesium: 314 ppm (I think the Ca and Mg are ok and the ratio is about right)
Fertilizer recommendation: 0.1 lbs/100 sq ft of N and K, but no P (seems pretty generic)