Soil tests three and four

Well, I finally got around to doing two more soil tests.

You can read how the first two tests went, here, here, here and here. (Links will open in new tabs)

One of the areas I tested was the soil under where we planted potatoes last year. The other sample was from the northwest corner of the garden area, where we will be planting blocks of corn and sunflowers, and where no one has ever tried to grow anything before.

Here is the potato bed soil. We tried the Ruth Stout method of simply putting the potatoes on the ground and topping it with a thick layer of mulch. Straw mulch, in our case, because that’s what we had. In the fall, I had removed the mulch to find the potatoes, turning the soil a bit in the process, then put the mulch back again. Though I’d done nothing to the ground other than put mulch on it, the soil was quite soft and easy to dig into to get the potatoes. It was still very soft when I dug down to get my sample.

As with the other tests, the soil is very alkaline. That green is darker than the darkest green on the scale, which is a pH of 7.5. Like all the other soil samples, our pH is probably 8.

The orange is potash (potassium), and the blue is phosphorus. Both tested at about the medium range; almost, but not quite dark enough to rate a “high”.

The purple is nitrogen, which is as low as it goes!!

Now for the soil that has had no amendments of any kind.

This area gets very hot, with only a couple of hours of shade at sunrise. There is more grass and green at the south end of this area, but in the north corner, even weeds have a hard time growing.

I think we can see why!

As with the other samples, the soil is very alkaline. There is some potash (the colours appear darker in the photo than in real life), but basically nothing for phosphorus (blue cap) and nitrogen (purple cap)! And we’re going to be growing corn there!

Have I mentioned how glad I am we were able to buy so much garden soil?

I think I’ll be mentioning it more than a few times, over the summer! šŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

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