I got a soil test done at Logan's lab, and now I'm deciding what to do about it.
I'm high on magnesium, a little low on calcium and definitely low on potassium.
It's all been managed organically, primarily with compost, shredded paper, horse manure and spot treatment with "liquid gold" (that's diluted human urine for those that don't know.)
Most stuff grows pretty well, with a few notable exceptions. Blueberries are very unhappy, the soil was amended with ~33% peat moss. I later added a soil acidifier and it didn't seem to help at all.
Brassicas, not so happy either. Looks like "failure to thrive", not particularly pest damage. Corn, very happy, tomatoes, very happy, rhubarb, very happy, sunflowers, beans, peas, beets, potatoes, all happy.
Here's the actual results:
Calcium 875 806 (in pounds per acre)
magnesium 100 140
potassium 100 64
In "base saturation":
calcium 60-70 62
mag 10-20 18
potas 2-5 2.5
my aluminum is 496 ppm, which is unlikely to be a problem, especially after I add calcium/lime
I intend to add some calcium, but obviously not magnesium, so staying away from dolomitic lime.
My own personal tests suggest that the top foot of soil is 60% sand, 47% silt and 3% clay. Below that, there is some significant amounts of clay, but nothing excessive.
Anything jump out at you?
What's your favorite organic source of calcium and potash?
Probably the best organic source of both calcium and potash would be wood ashes:
Wood ash contains calcium carbonate as its major component, representing 25 or even 45 percent.
Less than 10 percent is potash, and less than 1 percent phosphate;
there are trace elements of iron, manganese, zinc, copper and some heavy metals.
For a long time wood ash has been used in agricultural soil applications as it recycles nutrients
back to the land. Wood ash has some value as a fertilizer, but does not contain nitrogen. Because
of the presence of calcium carbonate it acts as a liming agent and will deacidify the soil increasing its pH.
However, it will sweeten your soil (raise the pH). Your blueberries will not like that, as they demand an acid soil.
Cee Ray wrote:Wood Ash is best integrated into a new compost pile, rather than adding directly to the soil.
I've read the direct opposite, but couldn't find any nice, official references in a hurry. Basically as far as I know, ashes' high ph interferes with the compost bacteria and makes nitrogen gas-off as ammonia.
It's generally recommended to throw out a fine layer of (dry) ash and water it in.
I need to do more research
That's why it's a good idea to use no more than 5kg of ash per cubic meter of heap; at that relatively low dosage the microbes and bugs can integrate it into the humus. Much higher and it can lead to a collapse of the humic structure.
was there no test for phosphorus? both an excess and a deficiency of phosphorus can cause problems. that you've been adding manures and composts and urine suggests that you are unlikely to have a deficiency.
excess phosphorus can be a tough one because it doesn't really leave since it's not generally very soluble. might be something to look into if nothing else jumps out at you. seems strange that a lab wouldn't test for it.