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Is it true that the healthiest soil grows the best plants? Or Not?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
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Some say that when everything is growing best the soil must be fairly well balanced. Others say that plants will actually grow fastest and biggest in a soil with too much potassium compared to phosphorus, but eating from this kind of soil will give you all kinds of degenerative problems.

Which is correct?
 
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trees
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I doubt you can make blanket statements about a certain soil type producing the best plants. Highly acidic soils may be good for blueberries but lilacs would not do well at all. Soil high in nitrogen may be good for growing corn, but would be terrible for wine grapes.
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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It depends!

Many plants will grow best in balanced soil for them, but won't fruit. They actually need to be stressed to put on fruit.

Some, like pioneer species, grow when the soil is out of balance in a certain way.

I have come to believe that the biggest factor in how good the plant or fruit is for you depends on the LIFE in the soil and not the chemical composition.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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In my opinion, neither is correct. The best statement would be "It Depends". Even in the vegetable world, it's different strokes for different folks. So you need to know the plants needs and desires and place them in the soil they will be happiest in.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2389
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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The fattest human you see might not be the healthiest human. The same goes for a plant. If you give a human/plant no work or stress and alot of empty 'food' they will grow very big quickly. But if you give a bit of exercise/stress and a more balance diet they will be a bit 'healthier' but perhaps not at massive. Each person values different qualities, I mgith think that the best one has a bit of meat on it, while you might think that the better is the one that will be a bit smaller but with less long term sickness.

I
 
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