My Soil Test Reveals All – Not Bad!

  • Post published:04/27/2012
  • Post comments:2 Comments
Newly planted onion bed

I had not yet received the results of my soil test from UMass when my onion sets arrived from Dixondale Farms. I wanted to get them right in the ground, but I was worried about my soil pH. Dixondale says onions prefer a pH between 6.2 and 6.8. I feared my soil might be too acidic for optimum results so I tilled in another couple of handfuls of lime before I planted the onions.

Two days later I got my soil test results. I was quite amazed. My pH is 6.6. I hope I didn’t make the s oil too alkaline with that extra lime. No more liming the vegetable garden for a while!

I also have high levels of phosphorous and potassium. I guess those occasional and undocumented additions of rock phosphate and greensand over the past couple of years paid off. The recommendation was to add nitrogen. As it happens I have a 4 pound bag of dried blood – and that is exactly the amount for 100 square feet of planting beds. I actually bought the dried blood to sprinkle around beds attractive to rabbits.

The final important result of the soil test is the calculation that I have 9% organic matter. The recommendation is to have between 4-10% organic matter. Hooray! All that compost is working.

Early garden in disarray

This morning when I looked out at the Early Garden I saw the row cover pulled aside. I know we have had a lot of wind, but the row cover is pinned down with rocks – also disturbed and moved. Could it have been the rabbit I saw jumping off the bank when I drove in last night in the dark? I’ll have to buy another bag of dried blood to sprinkle around the Early Garden beds, in addition to the row covers which I  thought would be deterrent enough. Good news and a warning. More rabbit deterrents. At least he didn’t have a chance to eat anything.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mary S.

    Congratulations on the positive soil test. I’ve never done one because we has so many kinds of soil in a smallish yard. Did you just do the vegetable bed?

  2. Pat

    Mary – I only tested the soil in what I call The Vegetable Garden, an area about 12 x 12 feet, paths included. I have been growing vegetables in that space for about 10 or 12 years, adding compost, and over the past three years adding greensand and rock phosphaste, and a little lime, in very unscientific measure. I have added those amendments elsewhere,in the Potager and Early Garden (created by the lasagna method) so the soil may be different, but maybe not too much.

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