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questions about doing Solomon's worksheets  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Sorry calculating stuff is not my strong side..
Maybe someone can help.
1.) The exchangeable cations are given in ppm. Solomon only tells how to convert that in antique measurements and not in metric. I've dug out a metric worksheet here: metric worksheet and it requires kg/ha. I took the ppm and multiplied it by 2.24 is that right? (for sulfur, mehlich3 phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium?)



Another question: base saturation of elements are given in % - per cent of what? Is it the whole exchange points?
Further Solomon writes P (Phosphrous) should be equal to K (Potassium). What comes first P or K or do I raise my P to the amount of K - this would mean 506ppm P to the amount of 728ppm K?
I don't trust my own calculations and I really want to get it right!


 
gardener
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To convert ppm directly to kg/ha, multiply ppm x 1.5:

If sample depth was 0.15 m (15 cm or 6 inches), then Value in kg/ha = Value in ppm x 1.5
Rationale: Value in kg/ha = Value in ppm x (1 kg/106 mg) x (1000 kg/m3, bulk density) x (0.15 m x 104 m2/ha)
Example: 50 ppm P = approx. 75 kg P/ha

Refer to page 4 on the following link:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/soil-nutrients/600-series/631500-9_soil_test_methods_factsheet_no3_sep2010.pdf
 
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Angelika Maier wrote:
Another question: base saturation of elements are given in % - per cent of what? Is it the whole exchange points?
Further Solomon writes P (Phosphrous) should be equal to K (Potassium). What comes first P or K or do I raise my P to the amount of K - this would mean 506ppm P to the amount of 728ppm K?
I don't trust my own calculations and I really want to get it right!



The % is the base distribution of cations, Ca, Mg, K, Na, and hydrogen depending on pH. 

I prefer to see base distribution % at Ca 80%, Mg 12%, K 4%, Na 1-2%, with the remaining 2-3% as H.

As far as P/K ratio 1:1 is were you want to be, but that depends on your base saturation % of K? If your K % is above 8 you may want to push out some K with Ca before you try to balance your P/K ratio.

Do you have test results you can post, I can help run the numbers?
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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Thanks for both replies! I attached my worksheet in metric, but it is with the 2.24 instead of 1.5 for the ppm conversion.
I have the testresults in the attachment.
BTW, the ppm to kg/ ha i found in Solomon's worksheets he writes: 1 ppm = 2 pounds/acre = 2.24 kg/ha - do I get something wrong?
Filename: Nicola-Bludau-Soil-20180108-94039.pdf
Description: test results logan lab
File size: 76 Kbytes
Filename: soil-test-sheet.pdf
Description: my soil tests
File size: 134 Kbytes
 
gardener
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Angelika, there are many ways to make your adjustments some better than others when you are trying for Ionic improvement, in the case of Phosphorus the usual is sodium phosphate but one of the best is fluorapatite, Ca  5  F(PO4) 3,  which is the raw, mined mineral that most of our phosphorus comes from.
If you can locate a source of that mineral, you will be able to bring the P and K into balance with a simple single application.

Redhawk
 
Chris Barr
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Angelika, there are many ways to make your adjustments some better than others when you are trying for Ionic improvement, in the case of Phosphorus the usual is sodium phosphate but one of the best is fluorapatite, Ca  5  F(PO4) 3,  which is the raw, mined mineral that most of our phosphorus comes from.
If you can locate a source of that mineral, you will be able to bring the P and K into balance with a simple single application.

Redhawk



Hey Bryant, I know I'm new to posting here and I've been reading a lot of your writings on soil (I agree with the vast majority of what you write) but I respectfully disagree with the addition of P in this scenario. With a K base saturation @ 7.11% and 728 m3-ppm K, I would say they need wash out about 318 ppm K with the addition of 5600 Kg/Ha of gypsum. K base saturation should come down to about 4% with a K/P ratio of 1:1 and Ca% to come up to a more ideal 75-80% @ 4200ppm and Mg down to 10% base saturation.

Where K is at now would cause an antagonism with P disrupting the uptake of P while further reducing the available Ca%; I would be inclined to believe with m3-ppm Ca at 3630 it would likely be less then 2000 ppm available Ca in the soil, but we couldn't know for sure without a Ca AA8.2 test.

BTW, the ppm to kg/ ha i found in Solomon's worksheets he writes: 1 ppm = 2 pounds/acre = 2.24 kg/ha - do I get something wrong?



I am not overly familiar with his worksheet but I have read some of his work though, I disagree with his boron not to exceed 4.48Kg/Ha, I've seen B upwards 10-12ppm or 25 Kg/ha with no issue of boron toxicity but this has been soil with Ca levels 80-85% and over 10,000 ppm Ca. The conversion factor is right though, 1lb/acre=1.12Kg/Ha, 1ppm=2lbs/acre is under the assumption that the soil bulk density is equivalent to an acre furrow slice weighing 2 million pounds.

I attached the results of my calculations.

Chris
Filename: Soil-Calculator_Permies-AM-1-22-2018.pdf
File size: 32 Kbytes
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Good points Chris and good to have you here.

One thing a lot of people forget is that soil tests are done without the forethought of what the microorganisms that create soil do with these minerals or how they do it.
Soil tests relate to dirt only, just the mineral base, no inclusion of the biota, including the microorganisms or the plant exudates.
Soil science is just now getting to where they think there might be more to it than dirt science, but they are slow to admit they have only been looking at half the picture all these years.
One way to think about it is "does nature worry about the quantitative analysis of mineral content? and if not, why do plants still grow healthy and green and produce the reproductive parts we call vegetables or fruits?"

If you want to try and grow in dirt, then you are doing the same as most till, kill and fertilize farmers are doing, it doesn't work for health (ours or the plants) as well as these folks think and it is totally non-sustainable because of the amount of inputs it takes, every year or for every crop.
In this method, your observations and conclusions are indeed spot on that target.
It is when we start factoring in how the microorganisms work that we start finding out that while optimism of mineral quantities will help, it might not be as crucial as the soil scientist currently is taught it is.

Soil science will tell you that it is impossible to remove poisons without also removing the contaminated dirt.
If that is the case, then how is it that myco-remediation and soil biota remediation or even bacterial remediation work as well as they do?

As you may or may not know, I was a USDA Soil scientist for 16 years.
When I started finding the indications of my research pointing towards real soil and how much of a difference that makes to plants, I managed to be invited to leave the service because I was pointing towards leaving the Chemical producing companies out of the farming picture.

Redhawk
 
Angelika Maier
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Hi I find there is something to both chains of argumentation, and I can't really decide which one's right - probably there's something to both. In the beginning all critters eat rock in laymens terms.
My soil is basically dirt poor (no pun intended). Bryant I have never ever heard of  fluorapatite, Ca  5  F(PO4) 3 I will try but even if you search soft rock phosphate or anything else than superphosphate it is difficult.
Gypsum is cheap and easy to get by. With that high K level I probably stop the hunt for woodchips for now.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Hi Angelika, you are on the right track, What we are talking about is the great circle of life. Science breaks this complex (but still simple) world of growing things into pieces small enough for us to figure out how it works.
The problem arises when you forget to add all those little bits back together (a forest for the trees sort of issue really) so that you see that big picture called nature.
It is one of the hardest things to do, you see the big picture, but it is very hard to comprehend.
So you break it down into bits small enough to examine and be able to understand each bit. Then you have to be able to put all the bits back together and try to grasp the big picture as a whole.

In the grand scheme of the earth mother, soil science is one of those bits, and we need to understand the minerals and how they balance, that is soil science.
Then we need the microbiology side and move those puzzle pieces around until they fit together with the soil science, then we are probably half way to understanding the whole circle of life of plants, animals and insects.

Redhawk
 
Angelika Maier
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I have my doubt if we ever understand the whole. Gardening as such is bending nature. Australian soil is perfect, just not for broccoli or beetroots.
I used to put 1/4 teaspoon of borax in 10 ltr of water before planting beetroot but now, seeing the results it was probably way too little.
I would like to read more about the dirt part, what book can you recommend apart from the Solomon?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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While we may never fully grasp every single interaction, simple observation along with comprehensive scientific study is getting us to that wonderful place where we can help our planet recover from our transgressions against her.
I do disagree with the statement that gardening is bending nature, while it has been carried out that way for the last few centuries, it didn't start out that way and it certainly doesn't have to continue that way.
If we pay attention to what nature tells us, we can grow our gardens with out creating chaos out of order, the exact opposite of what "Modern Farming Methods" do and most gardeners follow the farmer's bad example.
Educating ourselves is the key to making this a better world than what we started with, it is not about growing massive gluts of a few food stuffs, it is about bringing back the balance humans have disrupted enough to create new deserts where fertile land once stood.

Redhawk
 
Chris Barr
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You guys got a few posts ahead of I'll try to catch up here!

I Think Redhawk and I on the same plane of thought, just a different perspective of how we convey it.

I look at soil science a bit differently then many Agronomist have in the past 90 years or so, it's apparent they viewed it from a "chemical" balance perspective on dead soil pushed by the fertilizer industry, I do not share those traditional views. While I do focus on "mineral" balance, I look at soil science as coexisting symbiotic living entity the way mother nature has always been. When I give recommendations for mineral balance I always do so with the addition of organic amendments, but mineral balance is just the start we have to have microbiology for it to work and through tests and observations I believe the microbiology is better jump started and exponentially thrives when the minerals are balanced to create the least antagonisms. There is only so much available mineral nutrients in an amendment source, once plants have consumed whats available we need the microbiology to keep things churning and break down those sources so they are available for use by all the living entities in the soil community, unless one wants to use chemical fertilizers on dead soil.

There is a lot of room for forgiveness in living soils and while I do emphasize mineral balance, I feel the "big three" elements that are usually overlooked are carbon, oxygen, and calcium, with an available supply of these three elements plants, mycology, and organisms will still thrive in a some what mineral deficient or out of balance environment.  

Angelika, I would bet you can grow broccoli in your location, the most common problem with broccoli not producing is "bolting" a result of a hot root zone, mulch and keep the root zone under 80F. As far a book to read I don't think there is a single book that can sum it up, each one has good points and bad points and like Redhawk said we're just cusping into an era of agronomy/agriculture that is realizing they been doing it all wrong for so many years. Here are some good authors to start with, William A. Albrecht, Carey Reams, William R. Jackson, paul stamets (Mycelium Running), while they all have good info none of them are a 100% right.

Chris
 
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