This is my first soil test I have ever done and all I have done is add all my leaves to the garden at the end of the year and a couple of bags of grass clippings during the summer and only once did I add a bag of azomite rock dust, the site was originally flat compact hard red clay but is far from that now, yet to me the garden area just doesnt produce the way I think it should, does this soil test make sense and if so shouldnt high levels of nutrients make for bigger plants and harvests or am I missing something
Hi! You aren't missing anything, your soil seems to be greatly improved if you started out with compacted hard, red clay.
As recommended, I would put in a crop of a legume (or, dig in a legume plant as green manure). Or, just keep putting on your leaves. This would improve your CEC, which could be why you aren't seeing the growth you want. Your CEC isn't given as an accurate reading, which probably wouldn't have happened because it isn't a wide scale agriculture area, by the looks of things. Your tests say is is greater than 9.0, which really could mean anything. Though, anything above 10 is preferred for plant production.
CEC measures the exchangeability of certain nutrients and minerals (calcium, magnesium, hydrogen, sodium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and iron). Compost, if you want a reference point, usually sits around 37.5. The only way to improve accessibility is to add more organic matter.
Improving soil is a long process. Depending on how deep the samples were taken, you may need to remember that certain plants may be putting roots down even further than where it is being measured, into soil that hasn't felt your hard work yet.
**edited to correct spelling of "zinc"
Location: Prattville, Alabama, zone 8, 328ft
posted 4 years ago
Thanks for the feed back amanda, I have got this quality down to about a foot, this area is about 8 years old, had to start with tilling the first two years to break into the clay then after that it was just massive amounts of leaves and grass clippings as mulch year after year, I did buy a bag of worms and spread across the area when I decided to stop tilling and now the area is overrun with them which isnt a bad thing, this past summer I did cover the area with clover so thats covered, also no chlorine touches this area EVER so my soil should be very alive, so do you think I should just be patient and keep doing what im doing and the garden should come around?
Patients is my downfall I dont have any but I know turning a backyard into an organic wonderland is going to take just that, it just drives me crazy every year I say this is the year its going to happen it just never quite happens, BUT LIKE I SAID, THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR
When someone throws dirt on you shake it off and take a step forward.
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