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How do i increase phosphorus and pH?

 
Brendan Sullivan
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I just recieved my soil test results from local university
Soil pH is 5.8 (low)
Phosphorus is 3.2 (low)
Potassium is 89 (low)
Calcium is 1062 (ok)
Magnesium is 162 (high)

I've been following the cheap-and-lazy program for four years, leaving all mulched grass clippings on lawn, along with mulching 100% leaves in-place on the lawn in fall.

I'm looking for organic ways to ammend lawn/soil to increase Phosphorus and pH.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.
Thank you
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Ashes. Here is a bulletin from the University of Maine that gives a pretty good rundown of all the nutrients in wood ash. It will help you with your pH, potassium, and phosphorous problems. The only thing is, you want to apply it sparingly and often as (1) you don't want to burn plant roots and (2) these things can leach out pretty easily. If there are little bits of unburned charcoal still in the ash, that's even better, as that biochar will also help build the soil. I like to mix the ashes with a lot of water and apply it that way. Unfortunately, with all the solid bits in it you can't really use a sprayer, so you have to go lo-tech with a large bucket and a small bailing can.

If there is a park near you with cookout grills, take your trowel and bucket and help keep them tidy. Clean them out, even the half burned charcoal briquettes that might be in there. Briquettes fresh from the bag are not good biochar to be adding to your garden because of the binders and "easy-light" chemicals that are added, but after they have been set on fire once, the "easy-light" substances are the first to go and what is left is perfectly fine to add to the garden.
 
Bob Blackmer
Posts: 31
Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island
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Rock Phosphate or Colloidal Phosphate for phosphate.

Limestone rock dust to balance ph.

Not always easy to find, but worth it. Try local stone quarries. Slow release of nutrients and cant "burn" plants. Probably wont need reapplication for quite a few years.

I would go with a liming first and retest soil next year. Balancing the ph will allow the plants to grow better and microorganisms to thrive, which is likely to contribute to changes in the other important nutrients. Your local extension service should be able to recommend an application rate based on the results of your test. It might even say somewhere on your results.
 
David Hartley
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I thought the ideal ratio of cal-mag was roughly 5:1
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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There is a whole science now around the idea of "peak phosphorus". Essentially it is a mineral nutrient in chronically short supply, readily lost be leaching and erosion, and by the export of plant and animal matter from an ecosystem. Strict recycling of all of these, geological processes, and the slow movement of nutrients back inland from oceans (such as by means of migrating salmon and similar fish) keep phosphate in adequate supply in primeval wildlands, and we must emulate this in our systems to address phosphate deficiencies. Simply put, make your site a complete nutrient trap, returning everything possible, and be sure to import more nutrients, preferably not in refined chemical form, than you export. Ash, rock powders, bones and bone meal, seaweeds, and animal manures are all decent short-term sources of P.
 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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Bird Droppings are high in phosphorus. Provide them with a source of water, food, and a place to perch and they will be more than happy to bring all the nurtrients they have collected from the countryside to your yard. A metal trellis or sheppard's hook makes a great portable perch that can be moved around to direct where you want them to fertilize.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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Phosphorus is easy. Pee on it.
 
No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad:
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