Tater
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:48 am
Location: Ga

Understanding soil test results

I just got my soil tests back and am trying to understand what to do with it. 4 areas i am concerned about.
1. Ph is 7
2. Phosphorus is high at 229 lb/acre
3. Calcium is 2211 lb/acre
4. SOme stuff I don't follow at all

I requested an organic matter test as well

Any help? thanks Tate

a0c8c
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Post all the results and we can give you a better idea of what's going on and what needs fixing.

As far as the PH goes, that's about perfect for most plants. Neutral PH is abotu 7.5, so a 7 is very slightly acidic. Just keep yourself informed about what you plant, as there are plants theat want alkaline soil.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

Tater
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Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:48 am
Location: Ga

They are in a pdf how do I post that here. Sry tater

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

can't post your pdf here (I don't think) but you can make a text copy of it and paste that in.

TZ -OH6
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Location: Mid Ohio

pH 7 is exactly neutral. The scale goes from 1 to 14. Nutrients are most available between about 6.2-6.8. Your soil is just right in regards to pH but I would definitely avoid adding any lime, dolomite, or wood ashes to your soil because they add calcium and tend to raise pH.

Your high calcium levels are the reason for the relatively high pH of your soil. Carbonic acid [CO2] in rain water tends to leach calcium out of the soil, which is why soils that are not over limestone bedrock tend to be acidic. Organic matter [OM or POM/DOM: P= Particulate, D = Dissolved] in the soil help to buffer pH, and if you do have high organic matter in the soil it could be the reason your soil pH isn't even higher.

Nitrogen values are tricky. The tests look for specific ions (nitrate, nitrite, ammonium --each requires a different test), but nitrogen is also found bound to organic matter/humus and as part of microbial cells--amino acids etc. In soil with high organic content much of the nitrogen is held in organic form and recycled/released to plants at different times and rates depending on microbial activity, so even though the soil could have plenty of nitrogen for plants, depending on when you took your soil sample you could have very low values (nitrogen held in living microbes) and think you need to add nitrogen. In soil with low organic matter most of the nitrogen will be in ionic form and the tests will give a more accurate estimate of what is available for the plants.


You should also have values for potasium [K] , magnesium [Mg] and maybe other things.

I Googled "soil test results" and found several web pages explaining what is tested and what it means. you might have to go through a couple until you find one that uses the same units as your report (lbs per acre vs parts per million.


If you live in the southwest, you might have salt concerns, and this New Mexico site could help explain things, as it is a bit more detailed than some of the other sites.

https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/a-122.html

MysticGardener67
Senior Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:31 pm
Location: Lexington KY

Great posting TZ!

I vote that this gets stickied somewhere!

MysticGardener67
Senior Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:31 pm
Location: Lexington KY

posting the PDF

True you cannot post the PDF directly, but you could do screenshots of the PDF and then post as an image.

MysticGardener67
Senior Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:31 pm
Location: Lexington KY

Okay I have the conversion for PPM - lbs/acre

lbs/acre = PPM x 2
Umm lost where I found it. so no link , sorry. :cry:

Tater
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Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:48 am
Location: Ga

Thanks so much! I talked with a guy at Longwood Plantation (large organic composter) He was particularly pleased with the Organic matter content of 2.67. Stated that for Ga anythiing over 1.75 is good.
Leading to my next question-Do i mix in my 80 tons of 9 month old horse manure? I have regularly flipped and windrowed if and the temps have gotten pretty in the core. I don't plan on planting large scale for two months. (if I need to post this in the other section let me know) Will this manure jack up my levels negatively? Tater

TZ -OH6
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

I don't know exactly how much the manure will jack up the phosphorus and potassium, but some organic farmers are finding that after 20 years of manure application their soil P and K levels are too high. I doubt that adding manure one more year will be harmful to the plants, but you might want to look into alternative methods such as ramial chipped wood technology (aka ramial wood chips) and nitrogen fixing cover crops to add orgainc matter and nitrogen to the soil.

https://www.nofany.org/offandf/02articles/increasefertility.pdf

https://www.snakeroot.net/farm/InPraiseOfChips.shtml

https://www.rebelfarmer.org/2/post/2009/04/wood-to-the-soil-a-unique-method-of-soil-carbon-sequestration-that-both-mitigates-climate-change-and-prepares-for-it-seems-to-be-blocked.html

https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/Pubs/Wood%20Chips%20in%20Vegetable%20Production.pdf

https://www.sbf.ulaval.ca/brf/the_hidden.html

https://www.sbf.ulaval.ca/brf/regenerating_soils_98.html




If you are in Georgia, how deep is the garden soil before you hit clay? The clay subsoil may be acidic and low in nutrients, which might not be a bad thing if the top soil is nutrient loaded.

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