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Soil deficiency

Georgina Preston, 30/10/2010 8:54pm
I had a reams soil analysis done on my vege garden by Enviromental Fertliizers. Does anyone have any suggestiosn on how to remedy the defciencies? Meaurement is in kg /ha

Actual (recommended)
Ammonium NH4 6 (40-80)
Magnesium Mg172 (280-800)
Nitrate NO3 70 (40-80) ok
Georgina Preston, 30/10/2010 9:02pm
posted too soon contiuned here..

Calcium Ca 2873 (2000-5000)
Phosphorus P 69 (100-200)
Phosphate P2O5 159 (200-400)
Potassium K 800 (100-200) !!!! I assume this is the residue of the previosu owners chemical fertiliser

Some of the elements are pretty close if on the low side. I'm particularly concerned about phosphorus, phosphate and ammonium.

Also the calcium to magnesium ratio is 16:7 instead of 7:1

What do you all suggest to add to the soil to improve the trace elements?And the ratios? Will too much postassium cause a problem (I'm planning to plant tomatoes there)

Since the test was done I have added manure (sheet pellets), seaweed and compost

Jacob Perkins, 31/10/2010 6:13pm
In general, it looks like you can remedy the imbalances in your soil with frequent applications of good compost. Compost tea would be very beneficial as well. Kitchen scraps are a rich source of N (and with the help of microbes N is converted into NH4) and Phosphorus/phosphate. Keep adding compost and seaweed/kelp for micronutrients, and Chicken poo will help increase NH4 and P as well.

The Sheep manure is higher in K than chicken and lower in Nitrogen and Phosphorus, so chicken is the way to go if you can find it. if anybody you know has been keeping chickens for a while, scrape off some soil from their run, or harvest the manure from their roost/coop.

The overabundance of potassium might indeed suggest that the land was overfertilized, and could explain the Mg deficiency. Mg could be added without effecting the Calcium levels with Epsom salts. Was there a reading for Sulfur?

Tomatoes like potassium, though you obviously have way to much, still it's worth a try! You might find you have a good crop as the Nitrate levels are alright, though adding magnesium and some trace elemtents would still be a good idea.

Hope this helps! Anybody else have any ideas?
Georgina Preston, 08/11/2010 8:53pm
Thanks! I'll get some epsom salts . Do I just sprinkle it on or make a solution? I'll keep adding compost. When you say compost tea I assume you mean the microbe ones we looked at last week.
Jacob Perkins, 08/11/2010 11:55pm
Yes, the compost tea I'm talking about is microbe brew. As far as the epsom salts go, I'm going to get in touch with Jim and ask his advice on this as there may be a way to simultaniously reduce potassium while boosting magnesium that I'm not aware of. Hopefully I'll have an answer for you tomorrow!
Jacob Perkins, 09/11/2010 10:15am
Alright, after re-reading your soil test results and chatting with Jim, we both agree that adding Dolomite Lime to your beds and compost would be the best solution. This will add Magensium while balancing the Calcium to Magnesium ratio. You can sprinkle this directly on your beds and compost with the reccomended dose being 20kg per 1/4 acre of garden. This will also reduce the acidity of the soil, hopefully reducing the potassium levels.

Sorry for the epsom salt confusion. This would boost the magnesium only, but adding calcium and magnesium in your situation is the ideal.

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