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Doing a soil analysis report on compost

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Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  cyclonegardener on 11/27/2018, 10:30 pm

Instead of paying the extra money doing a compost analysis on my finished compost, I decided to do a soil analysis. 
One of my goals was to find out organic matter and p.h. I realize I should have done a compost analysis, but again I decided to do it this way instead.
First, my compost is mostly oak and maple leaves, with grass clippings, with a little soil mixed in as well as coffee grounds. To help it compost quicker, I gave it chicken crumbs (dried chicken manure), a little kelp and bone meal. It got as hot as 140 degrees. I mixed with perlite and it made for a very nice potting soil consistency. I tried it this fall on a 4x4 grass replant and it worked wonderfully.
Here are the results of my soil analysis report on the (mostly) compost:
Organic matter 18.0%
Phosphorus P1  278ppm  P2 279pp
Neutral ammonium acetate (Exchangeable): Potassium- 753 ppm, Magnesium 392 ppm, Calcium 2771 ppm
Ph 6.5 Buffer index 6.8
C.E.C. 20.6  meg/100g
Percent base saturation (computed): K-9.4%, MG 15.9%, CA 67.3% H 7.4% (there was no percent given for Na)

Any thoughts on the report?

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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  has55 on 11/28/2018, 3:36 am

CG, Nutrients look good. It would be great if you can get a biological test done to see what's the bacteria, fungi, protozoan, nematodes ratio is since they're the ones in your compost or soil that releases the plant available nutrients to the plants roots for uptake. The Book "teaming with Microbes" explained this concept.
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  OhioGardener on 11/28/2018, 8:00 am

@cyclonegardener wrote:Instead of paying the extra money doing a compost analysis on my finished compost, I decided to do a soil analysis. 
One of my goals was to find out organic matter and p.h. I realize I should have done a compost analysis, but again I decided to do it this way instead.

Looks like a good compost mixture. With the high OM content, this would be really good for topping off the SFG for vegetable growth.  Logan Labs has an interesting document on the value of compost in the soil:  Compost

Who or What lab did you use for the test?  Did you use the local extension office, or send it off to a place such as Logan Labs?
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  cyclonegardener on 11/28/2018, 10:57 pm

I used Midwest Labs.

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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  mcrn1968 on 12/3/2018, 7:33 pm

Who is the author for “teaming with microbes”, please?
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  OhioGardener on 12/3/2018, 7:36 pm

@mcrn1968 wrote:Who is the author for “teaming with microbes”, please?

Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis

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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  mcrn1968 on 12/3/2018, 8:35 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  sanderson on 12/4/2018, 12:24 am

It's a great read. Some is a little technical but if you just fake it and keep reading, you will have this broad picture of the underground world. You will never look at your soil or Mix the same. Shocked

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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  Dan in Ct on 12/4/2018, 8:02 am

Jeff Lowenfels has a yahoo group where you can get answers to questions concerning compost teas and the soil microbiology there. You can also get questions answered by Dr. Elaine Ingham. She was the leader of the group that came up with The Soil Food Web and the corresponding chart/diagram. Jeff has three books now, I don't have the third one yet, it came out last year. Teaming With Microbes, Teaming With Nutrients and Teaming with Fungi completing the trilogy. I agree after reading Teaming With Microbes you will never look at soil or your mix the same way and if you get to look through a microscope you will have proof that soil and compost are alive.
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  has55 on 12/4/2018, 9:39 am

@sanderson wrote:It's a great read.  Some is a little technical but if you just fake it and keep reading, you will have this broad picture of the underground world.  You will never look at your soil or Mix the same. Shocked
+1
Glad I don't live in that underworld. I would be shaking in my boots.
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  OhioGardener on 12/4/2018, 9:48 am

@sanderson wrote:It's a great read.  Some is a little technical but if you just fake it and keep reading, you will have this broad picture of the underground world.  You will never look at your soil or Mix the same. Shocked

+2

My favorite quote from the book is this:

"Without the activity and diversity of a healthy food web, you not only impact the nutrient system but all the other things a healthy soil food web brings. Soil structure deteriorates, watering can become problematic, pathogens and pests establish themselves and, worst of all, gardening becomes a lot more work than it needs to be."
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  OhioGardener on 12/4/2018, 9:56 am

@has55 wrote:Glad I don't live in that underworld. I would be shaking in my boots.

It would be kind of scary, wouldn't it? I think Wendell Berry sums it up pretty well:

"If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life:  worms, fungi, microorganisms of all kinds ...  Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for very long."
-  Wendell Berry,  The Unsettling of America, 1977
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  has55 on 12/4/2018, 10:15 am

@OhioGardener wrote:
@has55 wrote:Glad I don't live in that underworld. I would be shaking in my boots.

It would be kind of scary, wouldn't it? I think Wendell Berry sums it up pretty well:

"If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life:  worms, fungi, microorganisms of all kinds ...  Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for very long."
-  Wendell Berry,  The Unsettling of America, 1977
How true, how true.
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  sanderson on 12/4/2018, 3:16 pm

@Dan in Ct wrote:Jeff Lowenfels has a yahoo group where you can get answers to questions concerning compost teas and the soil microbiology there. You can also get questions answered by Dr. Elaine Ingham. She was the leader of the group that came up with The Soil Food Web and the corresponding chart/diagram. Jeff has three books now, I don't have the third one yet, it came out last year. Teaming With Microbes, Teaming With Nutrients and Teaming with Fungi completing the trilogy. I agree after reading Teaming With Microbes you will never look at soil or your mix the same way and if you get to look through a microscope you will have proof that soil and compost are alive.
I love you +1

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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  OhioGardener on 12/5/2018, 12:09 pm

Today, while reading an article on "Microbe Organics", I came across these two quotes which really seems to sum up the soil food web:

"I have run trials where wooden bins were constructed (2’x3’x1.5’ deep) where soil was successfully left intact after annual plants were harvested and replanted over several seasons. In between plantings composting worms were introduced to help consume the residual dead roots and plant matter. The worms were later trapped out. Compost tea was applied regularly to boost the soil microbial population. Over time there developed something of a miniature ecosystem complete with mushrooms, rove beetles and other beneficial bugs."   From Microbe Organics article by Tim Wilson

From same article:
The term ‘living soil’ is getting a lot of lip service these days, however a living breathing moving soil is a thing to behold and great to grow with. It just gets better as it becomes more alive. I’d like to try describing to you what this means. (Tim Wilson)
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Re: Doing a soil analysis report on compost

Post  Dan in Ct on 12/5/2018, 2:53 pm

OhioGardener, Tim Wilson was a regular poster at Jeff Lowenfels Yahoo group and enabled many people to afford to get an excellent microscope and would regularly post pictures of microbes to help people identify and to point out what they should be looking for when doing a visual assessment of just made Actively Aerated Compost Tea. Tad Hussey was another regular poster. They are both on the West coast. Tim is in BC and Tad is in Oregon? and Jeff is from Alaska. Tim and Tad started the site Logical Gardener which is by far one of the most scientific based gardening sites I have come across and usually cover cutting edge and the new and improved topics with the latest information. Great place to spend a few hours, just perusing the library that has books and articles that were downloadable. I actually got to look inside of one Clive Edwards Earthworm Textbooks. Clive Edwards from Ohio State University is the premier authority on earthworms with Paul Hendrix from the University of Georgia, second. Anyway Logical Gardener is a great site with a great bunch of individuals, just like this group for those who want to take a closer look at the microbiology of farming and gardening.
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