Chris Kott wrote:I like testing. I often wish that there was a computerised suite of tools that would allow us to do complete soil analyses at home, or even on a peripheral attached to our smartphones.
The more information we gather, the more we can know, and the more we can improve our decision-making processes.
I would look for trends over time, and perhaps delay testing in areas that show steady, positive trends until there is a problem. If time and money were not factors, I would love to have near-constant feedback fed into a spreadsheet and graphed for me, and maybe even imaged on a topographical readout.
But failing that, if I were only able to spot-test to diagnose problems, I would make sure I was applying fungal slurry and compost extract over as much soil as possible, as frequently as I could.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:At a pH of 8, your plants can not get much access to many of the minerals they need to produce really healthy foods for you.
The best access of minerals for plants occurs at the pH of 6.8 so you would see a marked improvement in flavor and nutrients if you adjusted your soil pH down about 1.0 points.
paul wheaton wrote:Do we have a thread somewhere on how conifers lower pH? For a while the official word was allelopathy, and later there was suggestion that conifers were calcium pigs.
paul wheaton wrote:One way to lower pH is to increase organic matter. And extremely high quality home-made compost is one way to that end (never buy compost - that is almost universally industrial waste). There are lots of other ways to add organic matter - I would probably go for experimenting with what grows fast and huge on this property.
And then there is this huge area of crazy that would involve growing conifers. They tend to lower the pH quite a bit, but introduce other problems too. It could be wise to grow the conifers and then cut them out when they have done their job. (do we have a thread somewhere on how conifers lower pH? For a while the official word was allelopathy, and later there was suggestion that conifers were calcium pigs)