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Soil Test results  RSS feed

 
Posts: 31
Location: Olympia, Wa
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We got our results back! As far as I know, prior to the 1990's the land was forest filled with conifers and maples. After the development a lawn was grown.

I had just assumed our soil would be very depleted but it actually seems not to bad. We are low on organic but we knew we would be. We currently have a cover crop on it (a mixture of seeds). I have noticed a lot of mushrooms growing in the soil this last couple of weeks. Not sure what type but I figure that is a good sign.

I am hoping not to till the soil come this spring but it looks like we may need to adjust the pH. Any ideas or feedback?
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pollinator
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I do not see a reason to till (incorporate) only a half ton of lime to the acre. I spread up to 1 ton per acre on my grass ground without a problem. If you can, just apply it right before a rain, but that applies to all fertilizers.

A half ton of lime to the acre seems low to me for soil at 5.72 on the PH scale, but that all depends on your intended crop. Grass does okay at around 6.0, but since lime leaches out every few years, I apply to get to 6.5 so that I get abundant crops.
 
Chris Emerson
Posts: 31
Location: Olympia, Wa
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The ultimate plan is zero grass and lots of good food, trees and berries. Zone 8b
 
Chris Emerson
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Location: Olympia, Wa
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Should I be concerned about the high micromutrients? The iron seems off the charts
 
pioneer
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Hi Chris, your soil test results look alright. I see you voiced some concern over the micronutrients, and I wouldn't be too concerned with the high iron and here's why. Something to keep in mind when interpreting soil test results, is that most often soil testing labs use an acid extraction method to make 100% the elements to be reported, soluble. Knowing this, we can be safe to guess that not 100% of that 101ppm of iron will be available for a plant to uptake and use. There's more to this also, and it has to do with the pH of the soil, and I've included a handy chart below to help understand how it works. Different elements become more or less available for plant use depending on the pH of the soil. The more acidic, the more Iron will be available (good for blueberries, for example). If the soil pH is nudged more towards neutral, but still slightly acidic, with a pH of 6.5 for example, less Iron is available, but more phosphorous becomes available. If you do plan to grow blueberries, which do need an acidic soil to thrive, I recommend to leave a part of your land as is and not limed for some blueberry plants.

Those mushrooms you've seen are indeed a very good sign. I wouldn't know where to begin to scratch the surface of how great fungi in the soil are, but I can steer you in the right direction with fellow Permie Dr. Redhawk's very helpful and informative threads here: https://permies.com/wiki/77424/List-Bryant-RedHawk-Epic-Soil#637639 There's a wealth of information here on more than just soil fungi, and can help guide anyone to turn just about any soil into super soil.




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Chris Emerson
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Location: Olympia, Wa
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Thanks James, that is a great graph. We do plan on growing blueberries and have a spot picked out already. We will be sure to leave it without the pH adjustment.

I have read through RedHawks wiki, very insightful. I will need to read through it again though to get the most out of it. It reminded my of my ecology classes from back in the day.

 
Posts: 21
Location: Noosa Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Hi Chris,

In my opinion, before you do anything. I would have someone look at the microbiology of the soil.
What microbes are around and is the soil food web in balance.

Once you have those results you can then take the appropriate action to get it in balance if need be. 
This may be in the form of a good compost tea soil drench.

What most people forget or just don’t know is that the microbes build the soil and work hand in hand
with the plants to give them what they need.

Cheers
Anthony
 
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Posts: 4961
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Chris, I like that laboratory's work but I would only do a pH adjustment, just doing that will change the actual available minerals, if you were to add more microorganisms, then that profile will change again.
Nitrogen, for some reason, is always touted as one of the major markers of soil health by the soil scientists that work at soil labs, you can get good results with very low nitrogen in the soil as long as the soil biology is high.

Others here have given good information, and I notice you have found my threads and use them. If you have particular questions come up, ask me and I'll attempt to answer them for you.

Redhawk
 
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DIY solar dehydrator - have you built one?
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