Adam Klaus wrote:
Finally your traces are all really low. Boron, zinc, copper, iron. Even sodium (not really a trace). Trouble is, the trace minerals are expensive.
John Elliott wrote:
Tut, tut, Adam! Trace minerals are cheap. See my post about composting alkaline batteries. Get a pound of boric acid (roach killer) at the dollar store, save vegetable cans for the iron, and sort through your change for pre-1982 pennies for the copper. How expensive is that? Let's not be helpless here when it comes to making our own trace mineral chelated metal fertilizer.
Adam Klaus wrote:J Hopefully this is useful info for you.
Johnny Niamert wrote:
Do you know how my soil compares to anyone else up on the mesa?
John Elliott wrote:However, collecting pennies is far less work than busting up basalt rocks, which Johnny seems to be willing to do.
Marc Troyka wrote:Phosphorus, sulfur and iron are unavailable at high pH. All of the soil tests in this thread show calcium levels that are too high, but there's nothing you can really do about it. All of the soil tests in this thread additionally show zero available hydrogen, meaning if you added potassium or magnesium it would have nowhere to go.
Marc Troyka wrote: I looked up 'mono-ammonium phosphate', and it's described as being an unstable chemical that isn't used for anything. Diammonium phosphate is frequently used as fertilizer, but it's unstable in high pH soils like yours. High P fertilizers can prevent root symbionts from growing but poultry manure or similar can add phosphorus effectively. P becomes bound to Al and Fe in soil, which yours is low in, and in calcareous soils like that rock phosphate is pretty much useless because it's entirely unavailable.
Marc Troyka wrote: I don't see anything particularly wrong with iron sulfate, copper sulfate etc. Chelates are probably expensive, they contain toxic gick like EDTA and they're too available to be used as a long term or fertility building tool. If you balanced your metals using all sulfates you'd probably get sufficient sulfur in the process.
I hope you're not to terribly concerned about EDTA, because most likely you've eaten some today. Pick up a jar of mayonnaise and look at the list of ingredients. You'll see it listed. EDTA is an excellent wait to help solubilize metallic nutrients like iron in the soil, because it keeps them solubilized at pH's far higher than normal. The simplest way to correct the metal deficiencies, and also correct the pH is to add elemental sulfur to the soil. In my own case, I dropped the soil pH of my suburban home's soil from 8.6 down to 6.5 (optimal) in just a few seasons. A second way is to use the commercial product "Ironite", which is a rich source of micronutrients made in the proportions needed by plants. This is far better than screwing around with iron cans and copper pennies, which you might bring copper to toxic levels.
Marc Troyka wrote:I don't see anything particularly wrong with iron sulfate, copper sulfate etc. Chelates are probably expensive, they contain toxic gick like EDTA and they're too available to be used as a long term or fertility building tool. If you balanced your metals using all sulfates you'd probably get sufficient sulfur in the process.
Johnny Niamert wrote:One big 'problem' I have with soil pH, is that it completely discounts the rhizosphere and the very complex and intricate interactions between all the tiny's and the roots. Granted, for example, phosphorus could be completely unavailable to plants and 'locked up' with Al, Fe, Mg, and Ca in a sterile alkaline soil. However as I understand it, through the bacterial, fungal, and other actions present, P can be made readily available to plants even in such alkaline soils, given a healthy and diverse microbial population. So even if rock-P is 'unavailable' to plants in soils like we have, the microbes could/can/will make it available to plants given a chance.
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