[nafex] Re: soil testing

edforest55 at hotmail.com edforest55 at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 2 17:19:17 EST 2001


Donna and Don,
Thanks for that soil explanations. My garden beds are about 70 
percent organic material, decomposed leaves mostly, very high in 
minerals (I believe because a tree draws them up from deep in the 
soil.) I had poor growth for the first couple years (I figured it 
could be that either the N was tied up or I just had too high a pH) 
until I applied sulphur, not knowing that there was a manganese 
problem but just wanting to lower the pH.  I was told that I would 
need to have my soil tested by a specialty tester knowledgeable in 
high organic soil testing. Just never bothered since now I am now 
getting fantastic health.
Still, horse manure never fails me and I use as much of it as I can, 
it doesn't hurt the apple seedlings at all if placed above the roots. 
(Best to mulch new manure to keep it from drying out). 
Kevin B
zones 3 and 5


>     There's an A&L labs in Memphis that does CEC soil testing.  
Actually I
> think A&L has several labs listed on the Net.   I was quite 
impressed by the
> one test we had done, the results plus Kinsey's book helped 
understand why
> we had yellow stripes in our corn every year, which didn't respond 
to
> magnesium.  When summer came again and the yellow stripes appeared, 
our pH
> was 6.4, our organic matter was 3.4%, and it was raining like hell. 
High pH,
> high organic matter and high moisture add up to a prescription for 
manganese
> deficiency.  I couldn't do much about the rain or organic matter, 
and the
> coop didn't stock manganese.  So I threw some sulfur around to 
reduce the
> pH, and the corn greened right up.  Other problems we might have 
suspected,
> like low boron, and high magnesium, were confirmed by the test.  I 
thought
> it was great value for money, especially when I looked at the tests 
our
> friend had paid the county $100 for.  They were really useless, no 
way could
> I figure out how much lime or what kind was needed, or whether 
there was
> sufficient NKP, much less trace elements.  As you read, Neal Kinsey 
says
> that some counties just use a formula to recommend fertilazer and 
lime, and
> don't actually read the test.  Like the guy who got soil tests and 
was told
> to lime, then got them again the next year and was told to lime 
again, and
> screwed up his pH, because they had a blanket recommendation to 
lime.  Let
> us all know A&L's web address if you find it.     Donna H






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