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Soil Test Results & How To Interpret  RSS feed

 
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Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and hope someone who has mastered the analysis of soil tests can help me out here. I want to establish a kiwiberry plantation anf recently did a soil test. Here are the results (all numbers are in mg per 100g):

N-NH4+: 1.58
N-NO3-: 0.699
P2O5: 10.3
K2O: 49.2
Mg+2: 0.818
Ca+2: 29.5
SO4-2: 40.9
Mn: 0.089
Zn: 0.02
B: 0.0637
Cu: 1.45
Fe: 1.89
Mo: 16.3
Cl: 0.001
CO2: 8.82
EC: 0.12
pH of soil: 5.96

From what I understand the molybdenum amount is through the roof. After reading online it's a really really good element to have in the soil. But then again too much of a good thing isn't so good either. I'm trying to see if this and the rest of the soil test show if the soil is good enough to grow kiwiberries. It's been a pasture for the past 20+ years so it hasn't been tilled. I'm just worried about the molybdenum amounts and if they will have a detrimental effect on a kiwiberry crop going forward.

Any other insights about the soil analysis results would be GREATLY appreciated!

Cheers!



 
Posts: 19
Location: Perth, Australia
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What was the testing method used?
 
Mav Thomas
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Hi Rodger,

To tell you honestly I don't know how the lab tested tge soil. What they did ask for though is that I get soil samples from all 4 corners of the plot of land and mix them. They took about a 1-2 kg sample of soil and ran their tests.

I don't think there would be a data integrity issue, I just want to make sure that extra molybdenum won't negatively affect the kiwiberries I do plant next spring.
 
Rodger Pilkington
Posts: 19
Location: Perth, Australia
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I wouldn't call myself expert, but I have helped a few people improve their soil.

Without knowing the testing method I don't know how relevant the analysis I provide below is to your land.

From the numbers given, am I correct in assuming that the land is not growing much of anything right now? Perhaps it is a hard-packed soil with a few of natures helpers struggling in it? The Mo is only one of the imbalances.

TCEC (assumed from EC) is almost non-existent  [this is the nutrient holding capacity of the soil]
Free Hydrogen is missing?  (soil is acidic, weird)
Nitrogen is VERY low
Calcium is a little low
Magnesium is VERY low
Potassium is VERY high
Sodium is missing?
Phosphorous is VERY low
Boron is low
Iron is VERY low
Manganese is VERY low
Copper is low
Zn is VERY low

Without knowing the test method I am reluctant to give you suggestions for amendments.

I might suggest you use Logan labs (standard soil test) or Spectrum Analytic (S3 test).  I say this because all of my information is distilled from Steve Solomon's The Intelligent Gardener, and he recommends these labs, for the most accurate results.  Both options are very cheap from my Australian perspective.
 
gardener
Posts: 4871
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Mav,  Where on planet earth are you located? 

Rodger has given good interpretation but without location I can't give you best methods for balancing your soil.

I notice that they gave you ionic information which is good to have too.
The acidity seems to be good for things like blueberries and others that like acidic soil.
 
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I'd recommend remediating with compost tea or anything equivalent. Soil tests that don't acknowledge the soil biology isnt anything worth investing too much of your time into. Homeostasis of soil microbiology is far more important than the innert chemical composition of the soil. Bring your soil to life with microbiology and mulch and forget about micromanaging the soil content
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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With out taking all things into account when building soil, you can not get the nutritional values desired from growing your own foods.
That means the minerals need to be there that build those nutritional values, the microbiology has to be there to make those items available to the plants roots.
It is a circle of life thing jars, you can not have one part of the circle out of balance it all works in unison and we then reap rewards.

To ignore any one part of all that makes up soil is to invite disaster.

There are soil tests that are specifically for soil biology, but they are not offered at every laboratory doing soil testing.
However, some knowledge of what you have does allow you to build from that base to arrive at a well nourished, balanced system.
If you only focus on the organisms, you might miss the fact that those organisms don't have the minerals they need to thrive.
Balance is the goal of nature, she can be helped along but the fact remains that if the minerals aren't there, they have to come from somewhere.
Bacteria feed on minerals, fungi feed on minerals and bacteria, all the other micro organisms rely on the bacteria as well, just as the creatures of the ocean all depend on plankton so does the soil depend on bacteria.

Redhawk
 
jars lyfe
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What picques my interest is the fact that soil tests didnt become a thing until the 20th century. Before that, before American agriculture, before machinery farming and farm supply stores, soil tests were unheard of. Im reading "Farmers of Forty Centuries" (again) and not once does it talk about soil tests being used to support entire Island nations, whose capita-per-land ratio is much less than here in the US, such as Japan or Korea. China hasn't ever used soil test kits or laboratories to determine soil quality in the past 4,000 years prior to the 1900's. The fact that they havent starved to death and are still around is proof that soil tests arent needed. It is the mentally that organic farming brings to the table, that unless you test your soil you will inevitably fail, and its a crutch of western agriculture. Organic nutrients come from the air... keep your water clean and soil diverse, the nutrients will be drawn from the atmosphere. If you want your valuable inorganic/micronutrients, do as Zero Budget Natural Farmers do and build up your soil using fermented solutions to attract earthworms. Theyll import all the rock dust youll ever need. If you dont want to do that, just import rock dust yourself, or use unadulterated sea salt in homeopathic doses to apply the oceans nutrients to your soil. Once the nutrient cycle is reestablished, maintain the fertility with proper stewardship, and again, the earthworms will import your micronutrients for you.

What needs to be pointed out, is that America did not invent farming.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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America didn't even use the tractor first.
I would like to mention that all those countries that depended on no science farming have a tradition of using up farm land and then moving to decimate new farm land.
China has enough dead farm land to cover an area the size of Texas and Alaska combined and just in the past ten years have they started to reclaim some of those millions of acres.

Do you need to test soil to be productive?
No, you can observe what nature grows and use those as indicators.
It was in the 1400's that humans discovered that letting farm land lay fallow for seven years, then putting it under the plow again, helped that land stay productive longer.

There are many methods available to build soil and each one addresses specific points of soil needs and make up.
We also have far more knowledge now than was available in the 15th century AD. Using it wisely has always been the challenge.


 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I think there is a difference. In America they started with a very good undisturbed soil, I don't know about China. Now we are home gardeners with little clue and try to grow something on the remnants of soil there was, and maybe home gardeners before us changed the soil in a way that was not all that good and there are excesses of a nutrient. We don't live for generations on the same plot of land either.
 
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