April 27, 2009

Soil Test

In order to properly prepare my planting area for my upcoming garden, I have sent in a soil sample to the MSU extension office to find out exactly what I need to do for the soil.

I sampled the area I'm going to be planting by using a plastic spade, taking about 8 to 10 samples from various spots within that area and mixing them in a plastic bowl. I sent off the sample to be tested for the standard criteria: all macro nutrients, pH, and CEC. After the expected three weeks, I was emailed my results.

The results show that I need to increase my Phosphorus and Potassium levels. I'm going to be adding 4 lbs of Potash over my 600 square foot garden area (a rate of 6 lbs / 1000 sq. ft.) to increase the Potassium levels. I'm also going to apply 6 lbs. of a water soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer over the area (a rate of 10 lbs / 1000 sq. ft.), to increase Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels.

To lower the pH (ideally around 6 or 6.5) I am going to be adding 9 lbs of Sulfur over the 600 square feet (a rate of 15 lbs / 1000 sq. ft.) I'm not going to be adding any organic matter to the soil, so as not to interfere with the reduction of the pH levels.

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