Ask a Question forum: Soil test results. Recommendations?

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Name: Jared Nicholes
Nampa, Idaho
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jnicholes
Mar 11, 2017 9:23 PM CST
Hi everyone!

I did a soil test on my garden soil in my 20 ft by 50 ft garden area in my backyard. Here are the results. Phosphorus is very abundant as is also potash. PH is 7.0. The only thing not in abundance from this test is nitrogen, which is highly depleted. Three questions.

How do I add nitrogen to the soil?

The soil retains a lot of moisture, and stays wet for a very long time. Is this a problem, and if so, how do I fix it?

Any other recommendations on soil additions?

Thanks!

Jared

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 12, 2017 11:19 AM CST
Hi Jared,

Your best bet would be to call your local University Extension Office. They can tell you exactly what you would need for your area. Here is a link to their site:

https://www.uidaho.edu/extensi...

That said, compost contains a lot of nitrogen so you can amend your soil with that. You can also use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content like Milorganite.

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
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Shadegardener
Mar 12, 2017 11:26 AM CST
Can you get any compost or leaf mold to slightly dig into the soil along with lots of sand? Don't use any wood products to dig into soil since you're already low on nitrogen. Fish meal, feather meal might help. The right composted manure would help as well.
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Name: Jared Nicholes
Nampa, Idaho
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jnicholes
Mar 13, 2017 12:22 PM CST
Hi there!

Thank you all for the recommendations! Will chicken manure add enough nitrogen?

Jared
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 13, 2017 12:35 PM CST
jnicholes said:Hi there!

Thank you all for the recommendations! Will chicken manure add enough nitrogen?

Jared


If your soil is already high in phosphorous and potassium it's going to add more, which isn't necessarily a good thing if your phosphorous is already too high. Also chicken manure can raise the soil pH, so it depends what you want to grow since you're already at pH 7.

Are you specifically looking for only organic fertilizers? Bear in mind that the soil test probably only checked nitrate nitrogen and not ammonium or organic nitrogen that hasn't converted yet.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 13, 2017 1:58 PM CST
Okay, this is a chemistry problem...

Phosphorus is only available to plants at a PH6 - PH7. The minute you add something and change the PH, the Phosphorus will become unavailable to the plants.

The bigger problem is the Potassium. That is a salt that in large quantities will burn your plants. To get rid of Potassium, start tilling and watering to flush it through the soil.

Use well aged manure to replace the Nitrogen - it breaks down more slowly thus releasing potassium and phosphorus more slowly.

This is a problem of just using way too many chemical fertilizers for way too long. If you have a hardpan or clay layer, the salts are sitting on that pan, making the problem worse.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 13, 2017 3:13 PM CST
Testing at home only gave you the results; not the answers to ammend your soil. The County Cooperative Extension service will do the soil test (for about $4) and make the necessary recommendations for your area. Give it a try.
Do you make your own compost? If you add the manure (chicken, cow, horse, rabbit, etc.) to the compost pile it will break down and be usable in the garden. Except for rabbit (and maybe goat?) manure, I think the others need to be well-aged before adding.
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Name: Jared Nicholes
Nampa, Idaho
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jnicholes
Mar 13, 2017 4:26 PM CST
Hi there!

WHAT?!?! The County Cooperative Extension service will do the soil test for $4.00? Wow! I did not know that! Most places I was looking to test my soil charged $50.00!

I think I will give them a call. Thanks for the info on that!

Jared
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 13, 2017 4:43 PM CST
There are tons of different kinds of tests they can do on soil. Some are very expensive. The last time I paid for the test it was only $4 or $5; just asked for a basic test for a home garden. Check with your local county cooperative extension service for details and which tests are available.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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