Soil Test

Well, soil test results came back one day last week. The pH in the field is only 5.6! Talk about acidic! The phosphorous level are low, too. It looks as if we’ll be adding a lot of lime and some bone meal to the garden plots this year, or at least to a couple of them anyway. Tomatoes and other nightshades prefer an acidic soil and adding 1.5 tons of lime per acre, as the soil test recommendations advise, could raise the pH by one point (all the way to 6.6) which would be ideal for most vegetables, but not for tomatoes. Tomatoes and other vegetables in the nightshade family prefer an acidic soil, so no lime will be added to their garden spot. Blueberries prefer acidic soil, too, so no lime there either. Every plot (including berries, trees, and shrubs) will get bone meal. Bone meal is a good source of phosphorous at a ratio of 0-15-0. Phosphorous is necessary for good bloom set and aids plants in water and micro-nutrient absorption. Our plants have shown some signs of deficiency in their leaves through purplish veins. Not this year! Cottonseed meal will be added for nitrogen and should be sufficient along with the green manures and compost that are added all throughout the year. Nothing will be added specifically for potassium as some potassium shows up in both the cottonseed and bone meal; besides, levels are medium instead of low anyway. When we do ad potassium, we’ll use kelp meal. We expect this year to be our best yet!

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