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Post  carowa on 2/12/2012, 4:28 pm

my sfg's did nothing last year so I tested the soil thru our local extension office. the pH was ok. need to add some nitrogen, but the phosphorus and potassium were very high. what can i do to lower them?

thanks, carowa
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Post  camprn on 2/12/2012, 5:11 pm

@carowa wrote:my sfg's did nothing last year so I tested the soil thru our local extension office. the pH was ok. need to add some nitrogen, but the phosphorus and potassium were very high. what can i do to lower them?

thanks, carowa
Hi there ! soil test - Soil test results 396615to the SFG Forum!
Hmm... soil test - Soil test results 27650
How high is 'very high'? Do you have home made compost available to add to your garden? I am just curious, when you made your SFG and Mel's Mix, did you use 5 composts? and what were they? I see you are in Hardiness zone 7b, would you tell us your location? Also, how often did you water the bed?

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Post  plantoid on 2/12/2012, 5:51 pm

Hi Carowa .
Welcome to the forum .
Do you have a full read out of the test result that you can give us ?

My little hand book indicates that overly high levels of P & K tend to be the results of adding man made or chemical growth enhancers such as Ammonium Phosphate for P of up o 48 as a liquid feed and Kanite which rings the bells up at a K of 28 ,

Magnesium ammonia phosphate also helps kick the P to around 40 & it is slow acting .
Use of burnt wood ashes can also give a reading of 10 P or so .

High nitrogen content manures of around N 10 are obtainable from dried blood or fish hoof & horn Bird droppings & their beddings based manures give a medium N content of around N 1.7.
The highest N content I can find is guano which is pure composted sea bird droppings which hits a high of N10

.
Dried fish meal seems a mid range runing to N9 P12 & K 4 .. lots of British specialists in growing competition large veg seem to swear by it .

Though if you follow the info in " All New Square Foot Gardening " 2006 edition and make your square foot beds up as Mel bartholomew suggests using peat, vermiculite & most importantly ... a home made or purchased five way balanced compost .
Replacing the compost a trowel at a time in each bed square when you re plant each square I doubt you would have many problems .

Let's know what you think , are doing & have done to your beds.

Plantoid .
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Post  RoOsTeR on 2/12/2012, 6:00 pm

Just for conversation sake, here are some past Mel's Mix test results:
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results

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Post  tomperrin on 2/12/2012, 6:24 pm

From the thread provided above, it appears to me that the lab techies are not gardeners.

The ultimate lab test is the square box.

Does it grow the veggies, y/n ?

Are the results satisfactory, y/n ?

If the results are not satisfactory,

were the directions to make MM followed to the letter, y/n ?

Was the box filled with enough MM y/n ?

Was the box watered sufficiently, y/n ?

Does the box receive enough sun, y/n ?

Were insects, birds, or 4-legged critters a factor, y/n ?

Was the garden inspected daily, y/n ?

etc.

In my own case, I had one square that did not have a sufficient depth of MM. Some veggies did ok, my peppers did not. Can't blame MM, but I can build a deeper box.

Tom
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Post  plantoid on 2/12/2012, 7:01 pm

Camprn,
Thanks for the link , I've taken the trouble to read it all.

What a revelation it has been to me .
I think that my finding that most people who have probs seem to have made their own original first time use composts to set up the new beds using brought in materials , it has only made me much more keen to use my own six element compost as soon as it is cooked and ready .

On my old earth beds I was using a four way home made compost mix & had some decent results but nothing to write home about in the brassica department.

For all the new beds in the front gardens I too have used purchased composted stuff for my inital bed fillings of 3 part mix as I had no compost made up ready to use.
The 12 beds out the back will get the real Mc Coy right from day one.
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Post  januaryX on 2/13/2012, 10:44 am

@carowa wrote:my sfg's did nothing last year so I tested the soil thru our local extension office. the pH was ok. need to add some nitrogen, but the phosphorus and potassium were very high. what can i do to lower them?

thanks, carowa
Does high phosphorus and potassium create problems?
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Post  carowa on 2/13/2012, 6:12 pm

thanks everyone for you info. i have 2 raised beds which are built about 3.5 ft off the ground because of my bad back. this will be the 3rd year for the west bed 2nd year for the east box. they get full sun and i am located in southeastern okla. during the later summer months they have to be watered every day (100+) temps, tho the west seems to stay moister than the east. the 1st year i got lots of basil and cukes from it and some HUGE brandywine tomatoes, spinach and green onions.
last year the cukes all died in both boxes. the basil did fine as did a sage plant. i planted cukes, tomatoes, peppers and spinach in the boxes and they all died. no insect problems to speak of.
i used the mm in both, staying as near the formula as i could. there is not a great variety of compost avail. in this area. mushroom, cotton burr (or hull. can't recall exactly what it said), compost from cow manure.
the pH in both is 7.5. the NO3-N surface in the east is 20. p index is: 1571 (786 ppm); k index: 943 (472 ppm).

in the west: NO3-N surface: 9; p index:910 (455 ppm); k index: 366 (183 ppm)

we have had a lot of rain this winter so i doubt the "washing" of the soil will decrease the levels. and there is about 8-9 inches of mm in each box.
i think that's the info you guys have asked for. thank ya'll!
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Post  camprn on 4/1/2012, 9:50 am


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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  LittleGardener on 7/29/2012, 8:07 pm

Ed Hume says the preferred pH for almost all vegetables is 5.5 to 6.5 pH

Also, when gardeners start reciting numbers for nitrogen, Potassium, & phosphorus
as being "low, or high", my 1st. question is Compared to what? -
Soils as they once were 100 years ago, when everything was naturally growing gang-busters,
or
Huge Agri-business soils as they became since then, when in the 1930's the US Congress was informed they were 'barren' then, in crying need of being replenished. - As AvaDGardner here also mentioned a few days ago.
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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/29/2012, 8:41 pm

@LittleGardener wrote:
Ed Hume says the preferred pH for almost all vegetables is 5.5 to 6.5 pH

Also, when gardeners start reciting numbers for nitrogen, Potassium, & phosphorus
as being "low, or high", my 1st. question is Compared to what? -
Soils as they once were 100 years ago, when everything was naturally growing gang-busters,
or
Huge Agri-business soils as they became since then, when in the 1930's the US Congress was informed they were 'barren' then, in crying need of being replenished. - As AvaDGardner here also mentioned a few days ago.

We are talking garden soils here. Namely Mel's Mix seeing as how this is the growing medium supported by our forum and basis for most of our gardens. Not big ag soils. If you want to discuss food business issues and big Ag, take it to the Food Business forum.

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Post  LittleGardener on 7/29/2012, 9:23 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:
We are talking garden soils here. Namely Mel's Mix seeing as how this is the growing medium supported by our forum and basis for most of our gardens.
Not big ag soils. If you want to discuss food business issues and big Ag, take it to the Food Business forum.
That was only mentioned, as part of how vast the spectrum of only those 3 soil ingredients is for being "low, or high".
Again, there is here NO interest in 'big ag' either in practice, or discussion, whatsoever.
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Post  camprn on 7/29/2012, 9:31 pm

Nitrogen levels are described as being high or low in relation the the nutritional requirements of the plants in the garden.
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/gardening-how-to/understanding-nitrogen-requirements-for-plants.htm

It's similar to your blood work up from a medical lab. For example, if you are exhibiting symptoms of iron deficiency anemia; a blood sample is taken and when your lab results come back indicating it is because your iron blood levels have fallen below a level required to sustain optimum health.

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Post  Carrot-top on 7/29/2012, 10:27 pm

Actually camprn, don't mean to argue here, but a person may have enough iron in the blood but if you don't have enough iron-binding capacity your body can't use the iron that you do have in the blood (you may have plenty of iron but just not able to utilize it). And like has been mentioned by RoOsTeR this isn't a "food business issues and big Ag" forum, and it isn't a medical forum, either. But I was wondering if there is a parallel here. thinking

I was talking to someone that has been studying vermiculite, and she said that it has the ability to absorb nutrients and make them available to the plants. Was wondering if anyone has more info or a link that I can go to about this? thanks I plan on reading up on it study !

Carowa, was wondering if you put enough vermiculite in your MM?
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Post  camprn on 7/29/2012, 10:51 pm

@Carrot-top wrote:Actually camprn, don't mean to argue here, but a person may have enough iron in the blood but if you don't have enough iron-binding capacity your body can't use the iron that you do have in the blood (you may have plenty of iron but just not able to utilize it). And like has been mentioned by RoOsTeR this isn't a "food business issues and big Ag" forum, and it isn't a medical forum, either. But I was wondering if there is a parallel here. thinking

I was talking to someone that has been studying vermiculite, and she said that it has the ability to absorb nutrients and make them available to the plants. Was wondering if anyone has more info or a link that I can go to about this? thanks I plan on reading up on it study !

Carowa, was wondering if you put enough vermiculite in your MM?
soil test - Soil test results 3085260134
I was making a simple example as a comparison, not giving a complete soil chemistry or a medical lecture.


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Post  RoOsTeR on 7/29/2012, 10:58 pm

@Carrot-top wrote:Actually camprn, don't mean to argue here, but a person may have enough iron in the blood but if you don't have enough iron-binding capacity your body can't use the iron that you do have in the blood (you may have plenty of iron but just not able to utilize it). And like has been mentioned by RoOsTeR this isn't a "food business issues and big Ag" forum, and it isn't a medical forum, either. But I was wondering if there is a parallel here. thinking

I was talking to someone that has been studying vermiculite, and she said that it has the ability to absorb nutrients and make them available to the plants. Was wondering if anyone has more info or a link that I can go to about this? thanks I plan on reading up on it study !

Carowa, was wondering if you put enough vermiculite in your MM?
soil test - Soil test results 3085260134


Camp I think your analogy was dead on.

Vermiculite is fluff.

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Post  GWN on 7/29/2012, 11:17 pm

Just to go back to the original post, I tend to wonder whether the levels of potassium and phosphorus are not a relative thing.
IE if you have too much potassium and phosphorus, and not enough nitrogen you may have troubles with the leaves and a pale plant, whereas if you have equally high levels of all three nutrients, .......in the optimal level for a particular plant, then you have a super mix.

I have in the past added guano to strawberries and tomatoes, in both plants caused them to explode in growth and produce nary a fruit.
Looking back I have always been leerie of adding guano to strawbs or tomatoes (I apply it liberally to my basil and spinach)
This year I ponder whether the problem was in fact too much nitrogen from the guano, .......or whether I had not equally added the potassium and phosphorus,

Point being, when a certain inadequacy exists in a garden, and another excess, could just treating the inadequacy remedy it? OR is it like the human body, extremely more complex.... (especially when it comes to Iron)(or at least from my perspective) Iron deficiency can be caused from inadequate intake, inadequate absorption, (either from inadequate ph(in the stomach) , or inadequate transport), inadequate binding, or inappropriate )and excess) loss.
It seems that often a certain PH interferes with the absorption of certain nutrients as well. YES it seems that there IS a parallel.
I am just learning all of this and I find that it is amazing how plants and animals are similar.
It IS amazing how these threads take on a life of their own cheers
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Post  Carrot-top on 7/30/2012, 12:06 am

Sorry, camprn, wasn't trying to criticize you. Was being critical of my own ability to ramble on about medical stuff. Was trying to make a parallel and ask a question.
Thanks, GWN, for understanding the parallel flower
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Post  LittleGardener on 7/30/2012, 1:40 am

@Carrot-top wrote:Sorry, camprn, wasn't trying to criticize you.
Was being critical of my own ability to ramble on about medical stuff. Was trying to make a parallel and ask a question.
Thanks, GWN, for understanding the parallel
Hi, I never come to criticize either. Just asking thought-provoking questions, and I do understand there's a parallel of sorts. - And I think this thread is really wonderful, and am studying up on related things before writing another post. - But am now lost Rolling Eyes re the Logical-progression from: optimal distribution of nitrogen, Potassium, & phosphorus, -> to Vermiculite having the ability to absorb nutrients, & availing them to plants, -> to Camp's iron-analogy, -> to rooster's "your analogy was dead on. Vermiculite is fluff" -> to guana ?? What a Face Could someone please explain Laughing


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Post  elliephant on 7/30/2012, 10:14 am

I'm also curious as to levels being "too high." It would seem to my uneducated mind that you just need to add nitrogen (blood meal?) to get it back in proportion.
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Post  walshevak on 7/30/2012, 6:32 pm

A plant example of what you are talking about is BER. Can be caused by not enough calcium, or not enough of the binder (which is in epsom salts) or the cold which does not allow the plant to absorb the calcium. Only the first issue warrents adding calcium to the soil. If the either of the other two problems are present, you are spinning your wheels adding calcium. Very complex. Makes my head hurt.

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