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Soil Test Analysis

Posted by Rollen 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 7, 13 at 22:56

I am expanding my home vegetable garden to a new area this year, so I decided to get the soil tested by the University of Massachusetts (local office recommended it since they don't test soil).

Soil PH: 6.7
Buffer PH: 7.3
Organic Matter: 4.5% (Desirable Range 4-8%)

Nutrient Levels (PPM):
Phosphorus (P): 34 (Very High)
Potassium (K): 193 (Between High and Very High)
Calcium (CA): 1773 (Very High)
Magnesium (MG): 243 (Very High)

Cation Exchange Cap (CEC): 11.4 MEQ/100G

Percent Base Saturation
K: 4.4
MG: 17.6
CA: 78.1

Micronutrient PPM Soil Range
Boron (B) 0.3 0.1-2.0
Manganese (Mn) 2.0 3-20
Zinc (Zn) 47.6 0.1-70
Copper (Cu) 42.0 0.3-8.0
Iron (Fe) 1.2 1.0-40
Sulfur (S) 31.3 1.0-40

Extracted Lead (PB) 16PPM
(Estimated Total Lead is 221 PPM): Low

Recommendation for Home Garden:

Soil PH Adjustment: Your soil pH is in the desired range. No limestone is needed this year.

**Your soil contains sufficient levels of potassium and phosphorus. You may apply the standard recommendations below, or you may provide sufficient nitrogen by using alternate sources to provide about 1/4 lb nitrogen per 100 sq feet.

** Vegetables: Apply 2-3 lbs 10-10-10 per 100 sq ft in early spring.

I just wanted to hear other people's opinions on what I should do based on their knowledge of this type of information. Would they just apply nitrogen or the 10-10-10 at the recommended rates?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Soil Test Analysis

Also wanted to add, I already tilled the area, placed newspaper down over the entire plot, and added 3-4 inches of mulched up leaves that I will be tilling into the soil come Spring. This should increase the organic matter.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

Because the potassium & phosphorus are high, why add more? Adding only nitrogen will be much cheaper.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

What is recommended is fairly standard for people that practice "conventional" gardening and is not needed in your garden. The 1/4 pound of N per 100 square feet is also a pretty small amount and can be left as well. Aside from low levels of organic matter (which may increase from what has been done) I would not be too concerned about that soil as long as drainage is good, there is ample life in the soil, the soil smells good, and the tilth is good.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

I commend you on getting the soil test done. Your soil looks very good and you don't need too much intervention. Adding the newspaper and leaf mulch was not a good idea. The carbon added will sequester nitrogen and you will not have as good a garden with it as without it. Take that stuff off, compost it over the summer and then add the compost in the fall.

The link provided is to a recently published book that will give you a better understanding of the soil test and how to formulate a fertilizer mix that will be specifically for your soil.

I do like the near 80% Ca saturation.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Intelligent Gardener

RE: Soil Test Analysis

Mulching over winter with leaves will not sequester nitrogen. In fact mulches rarely do, it's the tilling-in of browns that does it.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

Kudos on getting the soil test, hope you took a representative sample and handled it properly before getting it to the lab or your results may be at least somewhat meaningless. That N rec. amounts to 109 lb/A N and is no humongous amount of N for a good stand and vigorously growing vegetable crop (generally) to uptake for a season's growth. Your soil should be adding more N from the OM of course. If you irrigate, don't overdo it by leaching the N you have away as there isn't any great excess N from adding the rec. amount and your OM supplied N.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

I think your results look great. The usual test up here is not nearly as complete as yours. How much did UMass charge for that profile? thanks

RE: Soil Test Analysis

Vermontkingdom, I'm only chiming in here because I got my soil analyzed at UMass Amherst this past summer, with very similar results (not the numbers, the detail), and I paid a total of $40 something. That was for two analyses, front and back yard beds in an urban yard. They are separated by a largish house, so I wanted to know what exactly was in each. The base test is $10, and you can add extras if you want to know about them. I had the results in, I think, about 3 weeks. Here's the ordering info

Here is a link that might be useful: UMass Soil Test Ordering Information

RE: Soil Test Analysis

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 16, 13 at 20:22

This is a clear case of adding urea only, which is what I do. But Fe and Mn are low. Azomite, or even more cheaply, a few handfuls of iron ore slag, which you could find by the ton at places that also sell gravel, sand and the like.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

For the amount of Fe and Mn you need, Azomite is like throwing gold coins into the soil, and it will break down and become available very slowly. I'd watch the first plants that come up. If the leaves are nice and green, don't worry. If they're a little yellow, you can get iron fertilizers - it only takes a little. Compost from outside of your garden soil or composted animal manure will add iron as well. They used to put nails in the soil to rust, but nails are treated now, and what you get is point source anyway.

RE: Soil Test Analysis

I'm pretty sure that last year I came across a bag of fertilizer that was nitrogen only (no P or K) and also had a high iron content, like 10%. I think it was marketed as a lawn green-up fertilizer but it seems ideal for your situation.

I also think plenty of good compost will, over time, increase micronutrient levels nicely.

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