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What soil amendments do you use?  RSS feed

 
Joe Camarena
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I have one year old beds that need to be re-energized. They are fertilized with homemade compost and rabbit poo through out the year. I am mainly focusing on finding a mineral amendment, like Azomite, which I used when making the raised beds. I also water with worm tea about once every 6 weeks.

What soil amendments are you using?

I found this locally and am going to try it...

http://www.agorganics.com/products/Rabbit-Hill-Minerals-Plus-6-lb/13/640.html

Thanks,

Joe
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Every fall, I go an gather a truck load of fallen leaves from the local vacant lots, parks, etc. I mix in a bit of the deep litter from my chicken coop. Then I put a 6 inch layer on all my beds. That's it. The worms come up and work all the chop-and-dropped plant remains into the soil along with some of the leaf matter. The leaves act as an insulator for the winter so the worms stay active near the surface and do their magic. By next spring, about half of the leaf matter will have broken down and the remaining acts as a mulch layer that I just have to pull back and plant my new plants into.
 
Wojciech Majda
Posts: 43
Location: Vietnam
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Try to find a local quarry that sells basalt rock dust. Let's say you will pay 50$ for the delivery of 2 tones of basalt rock dust. It's much more minerals and trace elements than you can find in 50 lbs of Azomite.
 
Joe Camarena
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Tom OHern wrote:Every fall, I go an gather a truck load of fallen leaves from the local vacant lots, parks, etc. I mix in a bit of the deep litter from my chicken coop. Then I put a 6 inch layer on all my beds. That's it. The worms come up and work all the chop-and-dropped plant remains into the soil along with some of the leaf matter. The leaves act as an insulator for the winter so the worms stay active near the surface and do their magic. By next spring, about half of the leaf matter will have broken down and the remaining acts as a mulch layer that I just have to pull back and plant my new plants into.


Tom, have you ever done a brix test on your produce? I am adding a lot of organic matter to my beds, like your leaves, but am testing out the theory of high brix gardening. To do this I need to make sure my soil is chock full of as many different minerals as possible. I found a local product that looks good and is a 1/3 of the price of Azomite so I am happy about that. It will be going into my beds this weekend.

Joe
 
Joe Camarena
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Wojciech Majda wrote:Try to find a local quarry that sells basalt rock dust. Let's say you will pay 50$ for the delivery of 2 tones of basalt rock dust. It's much more minerals and trace elements than you can find in 50 lbs of Azomite.


If I had more than a surburban home I would use your advice. Did you look at the link I posted? What do you think of that mix?

Joe
 
Cee Ray
Posts: 98
Location: BC Interior, zone 5a
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Have you had a soil test Joe?
 
Joe Camarena
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Soil tests for a broad spectrum of mineral content are way out of my budget. I would if I could. Simple NPK tests are not what I am looking for.

That being said, the garden is doing well, but I want better. The more nutrients in the soil should translate into more nutritious food, yes? In theory it does, as long as I create the correct environment in the soil so that the nutrients are biologically available to the plants. Thus, I am testing out high brix gardening for myself. I have baselines for 13 different veggies I grew this year, I am amending the soil this winter, and will take readings next summer.

Joe
 
Wojciech Majda
Posts: 43
Location: Vietnam
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@Joe
Just having a lot of minerals in the soil will not provide you with high quality food and it's not a way to do high brix gardening. You need to have minerals in the right balance.
I've written about it a bit here:
http://designerecosystems.com/2014/08/06/getting-your-soil-right-cation-exchange-capacity-and-base-saturation/

For example you will not have good results if you grow plants in 50% azomite and 50% peat mixture as azomite has a relatively a lot of potassium and little calcium and magnesium. The same with phosphorus... You can put shitloads of azomite in your beds, but it won't produce (in itself) high nutrient density. Don't get me wrong it will most likely be better as you added trace minerals, but it won't be as good as it's genetically possible.


Testing for micro and macronutirents cost about 20$. Do that, balance your soil (with thouse nutrients) and on top of that give your soil some rock dust and you will have great results.

This is another level of the game.
 
Cee Ray
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Location: BC Interior, zone 5a
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I think logan labs offers a good value for a broad spectrum test. I hear lots of folks taking about them. I got a complete test from a&l Canada for $40. I also practice high brix ag.
 
Joe Camarena
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Thank you for the article.

Joe
 
Joe Camarena
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Cee Ray wrote:I think logan labs offers a good value for a broad spectrum test. I hear lots of folks taking about them. I got a complete test from a&l Canada for $40. I also practice high brix ag.


Thanks for the Logans Lab tip. Looking at them right now.

Joe
 
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