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Alarming soil results-help!

 
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I started a thread previously regarding a yellowing young persimmon tree. Lab results are in & I need your wisdom to fix these many problems!

It’s a 4x4 raised bed for a young persimmon, filled 3’ down with plain bagged soil mixed with native sandy soil (zone 10).
Last year I added a bag of potting soil on top, as the dirt had settled.  A week or so later, I realized it had fertilizer added, so I scraped it all off and replaced with a “plain” bag of “topsoil”. No other additives or fertilizer at the time of planting or since (2 years total in ground). What went wrong?

I have 100 gallons of rainwater to help the ridiculously high pH, but it won’t last all summer.
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My strategy, is that it's easier to change the genetics of the plants that i'm growing than it is to change the soil pH. I would take out the existing tree, and replace it with something that likes slightly alkaline soil.

 
pollinator
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It is not that difficult to change your soil results, it just takes some time.

In this case you just need to grow a crop (or several) that hyperaccumulate for the heavy metal problems that you have. You might try growing sunflowers for instance. Add some sulfur to knock down the PH, and then after growing a crop of sunflowers or other hyperaccumulator that best fits your heavy metals you are trying to get rid of, you harvest them just at peak growth and then dispose of them. The heavy metals are thus uptook by the hyperaccumulators, and then stored in the plant which is  why they are removed from the premise.

One of the "problems" that environmental regulations have done for us farmers is get rid of the free Sulphur we used to get from coal fired power plants. That is not a bad thing, it is just for a period of time, we were getting sulfur for free. Now, it is something we have to add to our soil to get the perfect balance.
 
Travis Johnson
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If you want to know more about this, you can look into something called Phyromining, which is where they use hyperaccumulators to draw up certain metals from the plant, into the plant, then destroy the plant and collect the metals within. Certain metals like Zinc, Copper and Silver are readily absorbed because they are water soluble, but for other metals like Gold, a application has to be made to make the gold water soluble in the soil, cyanide in particular. Being a sheep farm, I can readily make cyanide of course, but am not too keen on the idea, so I might use a different type of lixiviant that would give me the same, but more safe results.

I was going to try this on my farm, but I have been so busy doing other things, that I was not able to try this yet.

But that is growing a crop to extract the metals. A farmer can do this to just rid their soil of heavy metals in the same way.
 
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For one tree, copper sulfate.

webpage

too much zinc relative to iron and copper. I totally agree with Travis on the sulfur.
 
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Location: Noosa Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Hi There,

To me, the results seem unbelievable.

I have a couple of questions -

- Was the soil test conducted by a reputable company?
- Did you take soil samples from across the garden beds, so you have a random mix of soil?
- Is there anything else growing in the beds and how are they doing?

I would also do a leaf sap test from the tree and see what the results show.

Cheers
Anthony
 
Jane MacDonald
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Excellent informative replies, thank you everyone!

Anthony Saber, I also questioned the results and have no idea if the lab is reliable. I followed the directions, taking soil from 4 areas even though it’s only a 4x4 bed. Because this planter bed holds different soil for the fairly new persimmon, I couldn’t mix soil from other beds. Our water is alkaline, plus we’ve had a long wet winter and spring. Many plants in other areas of the yard are showing signs of chlorosis so weather and pH are definitely a big factor.

I’ll research adding sulfur / copper sulfate, and get a leaf test done. In the meantime, is there a leaf spray I should attempt for immediate treatment?
 
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