Soil and Compost forum: thoughts regarding my media

Views: 236, Replies: 5 » Jump to the end
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
Mar 22, 2016 5:27 PM CST
This feels very nice, now, if I should incorporate this in my garden bed, what would be the benefits? In terms of nutrients?
And the second one is of my garden bed that I'm replacing the 15 year old wood chips, should I use any of it? Or get rid of it, it seems like I should use it, but don't know how to incorporate. Would love to know what the benefits are in the medias, don't know if these are considered compost, or ...well, whatever you call them and the 3rd pic is of my current soil levels in the front garden bed under the wood chips of course. What do you guys think
Thumb of 2016-03-22/bhart90/73f4d6


Thumb of 2016-03-22/bhart90/47121e


Thumb of 2016-03-22/bhart90/976b8a

Brenden
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Mar 25, 2016 5:15 PM CST
Hi Brendon

In the first photo, I can't tell wehat it's made of from a photo, so I don't know. It looks pretty organic (good). it seems to have some big stuff, but I can;t tell if that's one great big chunk, or a clod composed of finer stuff., Just can't say.

As to the second Q, my GUESS is that any wood chips that have laid on the ground for 15 years have had time to do some composting, so they would PROBABLY not cause much nitrogen deficit even if you tuned them under the soil. I tend not to turn wood under because I had a nasty experience with bags of a cheap, junky soil amendment that was mostly wood chips. that bed was useless for a year as the wood created a big ugl7y mess of fungus underground and nothing wanted to grow there. Your mileage may vary!

If you need to add chunks that big to you soil, for example to increase speed of drainage, it might be OK. To be very safe, you could pile them up into a compost heap for a few months or a year, and "greens" or any nitrogen source, and be sure they were better composted and had plenty of time for fungi to have their way before you add them to your soil.

Ummm ... why turn them into the soil if they are still big chunks? Why not leave them as mulch?

If they have insect or plant disease infestation, you probably should not use them in the soil. Even composting thoroughly might not cure that. In which case, use them as mulch somewhere they won't huurt anything that matters, like foundation plantings of random bushes, or "under some trees".

Is the last photo a "soil settling rate" test? Cool! I've read about them for ages but never done one.

TOTALLY guessing, that looks like a moderate amount of grit, sand and silt. It might have to sit for days for the clay to settle and reveal what % clay you have. But mainly I applaud you for doing it ... I don't know how to interpret it.

Is there a soil scientist in the house??

Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
Mar 25, 2016 8:36 PM CST
haha, I appreciate your information, it means a lot to me when some one takes time to essentially write a book of a reply, my god. Thank you! And I went to Youtube and typed Soil Test MiGardener He is a guy from my states' area; who broke it down in terms of interpreting.
Brenden
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Mar 26, 2016 5:16 AM CST
If I understand correctly, the guy from your area explained how to interpret the jar test? I've done this a few times - kind of fun. This page gives the info I think your're looking for, just in case it's still needed. At first glance I thought your picture was a glass of beer!

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/214.html
Name: Brenden Reinhart
Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b)
Image
bhart90
Mar 26, 2016 8:44 AM CST
Boy, that would REALLY make things interesting!!! Haha
Brenden
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Mar 28, 2016 3:49 PM CST
Brendon, you're certainly welcome. If only something I said could also be useful!

Great link, Sue! It explains that "settling test" better than anything else I've seen.

And the flowchart for "feel test / ball squeeze test / ribbon test" is great!

And this would be worth paying cash for:

"Note: A soil with as little as 20% clay will behave as a clayey soil.
A soil needs 45% to over 60% medium to coarse sand to behave as a sandy soil.
In a soil with 20% clay and 80% sand, the soil will behave as a clayey soil."

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Soil and Compost forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"