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Soil Analysis: Taos, NM

 
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I would like to see if anyone has input on this soil analysis. My goals will be to amend my +7 acres even if it takes a decade. I'm going to be busy building cistern, accumulating compost and adding saw dust or some form of carbon which I assume will tie up any existing nitrogen. I have never grown anything but I have been shoveling out road culvert water redirection to infiltrate my soil. My goal is native or adaptable grasses and wind blocking trees to start. I'll be happy with any nugget of info to maybe save potentially going down wrong path. Currently, sage is 99% of what's growing.
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gardener
Posts: 6280
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1032
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The high soil pH (8.2) is probably going to be the first thing you need to address since a high pH can cause many of the  surplus minerals to be more available than if the pH was in the 6.8 range.
Getting the pH down into the high to mid 6's can take care of the calcium excess and it might even bring the P up into an acceptable level.

So, grow a diverse cover crop set, like buckwheat, clover, peas, etc. (even simply using a deer feed plot seed mix will do wonders) and work on getting some sulfur into the soil to bring the pH down (do this in small increments, not one big dump of sulfur).

Since you have some native grasses growing there already, it would be easiest to add more plants and let their exudates do a lot of the adjusting for you. Then you can start with some small quantity amendment materials so you don't overshoot the goal pH wise.

As your pH comes down more fungi will move in and begin to thrive along with more of the bacteria species we really want in our soil.
Both of these will also act upon the soil minerals and from that point you can better make adjustments if necessary because you have built the microbiome first.

Redhawk
 
Brad Horner
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I have too many questions. Maybe one day I can answer questions.

Much appreciated. I'm going to bring ph down then see where P is at before I worry a out it. I think what you are pointing out gives me confidence because it mostly is what I had plans for. I was looking at possibility of elemental sulphur but that seems out of my price range maybe. For fun of it I'm putting my list "possible contenders" for what I would like to grow for this rehab project. I haven't weeded out the wrong choices of cover plants yet.

Zone 5 B

HAIRY VETCH
Sweet Clover
Blue Grama
Sunflowers
Dandelion
Autumn Olive
Peganum harmala
(Meant to add beans of some type)

Winter cover:
Oilseed radishes
Oats
PiƱon tree for wind
 
Brad Horner
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I'm looking up soil terminology as I decipher this analysis. In comments of worksheet I provided they say in comments there is a surpus of Ca++ and S or S-(?). If I should use sulphur to lower ph but there is a surplus of S already, it doesn't make sense.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 6280
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1032
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
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++ means anions, these are positive charged atoms which will form bonds with other atoms to form new molecules. The same is indicated by the - sign (cations) these are atoms with a negative charge.
The number of electrons that make up the charge will be indicated by the number of either + or - symbols behind the elements periodic chart symbol.

Sulphur being in excess? that would show up with a very low pH
Looking again at your test results I see that you have S in the quantity of 382 ppm (parts per million) and the ideal would be 700 plus ppm.
The first page shows that most of your minerals are listed as sulfates, now that means either you have acidic soil or they did their tests in a manner that converted those minerals to sulfates so they could detect them.
The test reports you having a basic soil (the 8.2 pH) thus either they forgot to mention that they were reporting minerals as sulfates or they made some error, since soil with that many sulfates would indeed be in the range of 5.5 to 4.3 pH.

 
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Sorry I don't have any input about the soil analysis. This was one of the few threads I found mentioning Peganum Harmala. May I ask, is there a specific reason you included it in your list?

I am interested in growing it for its use as a natural dye. However I've read that it can be very invasive in certain conditions and dangerously toxic to grazing animals. Apparently they normally avoid it because of its bitter taste, but I live on a Mediterranean island with thousands of freely grazing sheep and goats, and pasture can be scarce in dry summers. So, I am hesitant about growing it.
Also I just read a study saying it has allelopathic effects on the germination of wheat and purslane seeds (possibly on other plants as well).
 
Acetylsalicylic acid is aspirin. This could be handy too:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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