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Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  camprn on 4/16/2012, 3:43 pm

I add a bit of bone meal to the tops of my beds by just sprinkling a light layer over the top and then just fork it in, easy with a little twist. Or you could use a little hand cultivator. You don't have to get all crazy with mixing it in. Bonemeal is supposed to promote root development.

If the mix is still really heavy and you have nothing in it, you could try adding a bit of peat or BM1and fork it in.
Now that being said, before you add anything, you could send off a sample to UMass for analysis and get a better idea of what's going on, that way you will know what you actually need to correct . From what Boffer said, the turn around time is not too long.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  1airdoc on 4/16/2012, 3:50 pm

UMass is definitely the way to go for analysis. I sent my MM and some yard soil for analysis (see post on previous page), and the results gave very specific instructions for correcting any imbalances.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  Unmutual on 4/16/2012, 3:53 pm

@Lindacol wrote:SNIP!

Garlic in this bed looks stunted compared to my other bed with garlic. Carrots started and died. Broccoli did ok, as did some lettuce. Newly transplanted cucs died.

Cucumbers hate to be transplanted, it's one of those vegetables that you should try to start from seed if at all possible. As for the carrots, did the new stem get dark colored then fall over? If so, that might be because of the high level of compost in your beds(it's called damping off and it's a fungal issue for sprouting plants).

Garlic is high in phosphorous(when eaten), so the lack of it could very well be your issue.

@Lindacol wrote:
I got one of the home soil tests from HD. The Ph test looked lime green, like the bacground color - I guess neutral to slightly acid. Nitrogen was darker than surplus (not a surprise), the Potash was suffucient to surplus but the Phosphorus was depleted (clear).

The package suggests adding bonemeal but I am confused on how much.

Suggestions?? I am ready to replant this bed and have seeds & seedlings waiting.

Home soil tests seem to be very dependent on following the directions(not a jab, I'm bad at it too). Like Camprn said, a soil test from the local extension office is much better and will tell you exactly what you need and in what amounts, for a very reasonable price.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  Lindacol on 4/16/2012, 4:26 pm

Thanks for the replies. I will try adding bonemeal and see if it perks up the garlic which is mostly what's left in the bed now.

The cucs, especially one of them transplanted fine, stayed green for a week or so, even got a couple of new leaves then just died. I had grown them from seed and they had been uppotted and doing fine before. The carrots germinated & grew til the tops were maybe 3 inches, then yellowed & died. Did not look like damping off. The carrots were maybe an inch or so long and skinnier than a pencil. These were nantes types.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  camprn on 4/16/2012, 4:34 pm

@Lindacol wrote:The carrots germinated & grew til the tops were maybe 3 inches, then yellowed & died. Did not look like damping off. The carrots were maybe an inch or so long and skinnier than a pencil. These were nantes types.

Linda
Well, it's a good thing it's carrot week, time to plant more Wink

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  plantoid on 4/16/2012, 4:49 pm

Seeing as your carrots did not have forked roots or roots like a cows udder , I doubt that the mix was not fully composted or too weak.

The seeds seem to have satisfactorily germinated for the carrots to have reached that length

I feel that water might have been a problem , so might heat or the lack of it for the cuc's ( if you get such a beasties Wink )



When transplanting you can give the plants a fatal shock if you plant on cold days & they have not been hardened off , or you get a critical temp drop overnight .. it does not have to be to freezing point on cucs either ......just 12 hrs of below 50 oF or so for tender plants like cuc's

or

You don't water them in or you plant them out in mid day heat and don't water till late adfternoon then get a cold snap .

Sometimes when you handle plants , substances on your fingers does them in as well. So does decaying pesticides in the commercial composts .. a few months or so later it has usually decayed enough & been diluted by watering so as not to cause probs but untill that happens you don't really know whats killing things or stunting growth .

One substance come to mind ..it is a growth inhibitor and is sprayed on grasses and hedging ...this slows the growth tremendously it is used because you don't have to pay for 3/4 of the cutting you used to do so is a big money & labour saver . However any cuttings from the treated vegetation will still carry the inhibitor to a degree . If any of that has been used in the make up of the commercial compost your doomed for while .. places like golfcourses , race cources , public gardens & grassed sports grounds are good candidates for the inhibitors to have been used .

Have there been any improvements todate ?

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/16/2012, 9:05 pm

@Lindacol wrote:I just went back & found this info on soil testing because I have a problem in one of my beds. This bed (the 2nd built out of the 4 I have - the others are doing fine) was filled with a mix that was heavier on the compost portion as I was low on funds when I filled it. The compost is homemade, heavy on the goat manure & alfalfa but also contains horse & yak manure and household wastes and plant material. As I have replenished I have added in some vermiculite, peat and bagged worm castings. This bed was started about 6-7 mos ago. The same compost is used in all 4 beds.

Garlic in this bed looks stunted compared to my other bed with garlic. Carrots started and died. Broccoli did ok, as did some lettuce. Newly transplanted cucs died.

I got one of the home soil tests from HD. The Ph test looked lime green, like the bacground color - I guess neutral to slightly acid. Nitrogen was darker than surplus (not a surprise), the Potash was suffucient to surplus but the Phosphorus was depleted (clear).

The package suggests adding bonemeal but I am confused on how much.

Suggestions?? I am ready to replant this bed and have seeds & seedlings waiting.

Hi Linda. I have done a ton (okay nearly a dozen) soil tests in various places this year (since Feb 1). I have two different tests, and their results are close, but not identical.

Are you using Ferry Morris' kit with the tiny throw-away tubes? If so, I understand the 'lime green' comment, as that is at the top of their card. But what does "surplus' mean? Oh...like you medium to high results?

On FM...
pH = lime is 7.0pH = neutral (per their card)
N = darker than hot pink 'High' = not unusual if with compost
P = clear = below "Very Low"
K = senna to dark brown = Med-High

I really hoped for different results. That's the same as what I get in my dirt beds.

Phosphorus is a tough one for us in SoCal. I add bone meal and blood meal like crazy.

Keep in mind it takes months for a change to be registered. Start now, and you may be able to plant that one by June 1.

Between Feb & Apr I did reach neutral pH, but I am still low P (in all growing areas). And without adding compost, the amendments I did use (to change pH & increase P & lower K) increased N, and lower K. A partial victory! I'm looking for something liquid that might raise P while we are in growing season. So far, everything looks okay (there are pics in my sig link), but this is still spring.

The inside of the FM card indicates 32 for leafy veggies and 27 for root veggies. Which way do you want to plant this bed? Those numbers represent Ounces per 100 Sq Ft of Super Phosphate [17.5% P(2)O(5)]. Super Phosphate also contains N & K. Treble Phosphate is just phosphate.

Is this a 4x4?

32 oz per 100 SF = .32oz per 1SF or 5.12 oz per 16 SF for LEAFY veggies (5 oz & .75 tsp)

27 oz per 100 SF = .27oz per 1SF or 3.32 oz per 16 SF for ROOT veggies. (3 & 1/3 oz)

If you find small amounts of Treble Phosphate (all I can find is 50lb bags!) let me know. Once you know how much P(2)O(5) is in it, you can convert the calculations. If you find something liquid, more instant, fill me in!

Ava

PS: from the research I did before I started my garden...

INCREASE PHOSPHORUS:

Bone MealVigro(a product Ihad on hand)
Fish meal
wood ashalso high in calcium - will raise alkalinity
rock phosphate
guanowill add nitrogen?
Manurealso adds nitrogen
Fertilizers high in middle number:
dimmonium phosphate (18-46-0)
monoammonium phosphate (11-48-0)
treble super phosphate

Too Little: shallow roots, malformed or miscolored seeds, malnourished plants

Too Much: yellow leaves, damaged plants

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  walshevak on 4/16/2012, 11:07 pm

Saw a product at the nursery, ferti-lome. What caught my eye was the was the over 50 number for phosphate and the low nitrogen and K numbers. It is a powder that must be disolved in water to use. Does anybody know anything about his product? http://www.fertilome.com/product.aspx?pid=7eca7da6-3ec6-46e8-932b-0db4c57745e1

Kay


Last edited by walshevak on 4/16/2012, 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add link)

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  Cincinnati on 4/17/2012, 12:54 am

@walshevak wrote:Saw a product at the nursery, ferti-lome. ...[/url]

Kay

Fertilome is a brand name of fertilizers and mineral additives for soils. This is a fertilizer high in phosphorus (actually phosphates).Be extremely careful adding any minerals or fertilizers to your soil or to your MM without first knowing if you need it. Imbalanced soils contribute to a plethora of issues including the cultivation of "bad bugs" in the soil. Imbalanced soils also make it difficult for plants to assimilate the nutrients in the soil. More often than not, The resulting product is vegetables and fruits that are low in nutritional value and lacking taste.

For more info on balancing your soil, check out this book: http://www.soilminerals.com/Ideal_Soil_Main_Page.htm

Disclaimer: I have no commercial interest in this book and no affiliation with the author or seller.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  walshevak on 4/17/2012, 7:41 am

I don't play around with my MM because I don't know enough about it to mess with a good thing. So far the only plant I have not had bumper crops from has been brocolli, only small heads and massive amounts of leaves. But I know my mix must be high in N because of all the manures I use. However, this year I have planted beets and wondered if the root crops needed a boost of something else to not be all tops. Thought I might give them a dusting of bone meal.

This is my first year with peppers and tomatos. Had to give all mine away last year when I left the garden for 4 months. Any of my long term crops like tomatos, peppers, chard, kale and collards will get a mid season topdressing of my 5 blend and hopefully some worm castings. My worms are churning out castings.

Kay

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  Unmutual on 4/17/2012, 8:53 am

@walshevak wrote:Saw a product at the nursery, ferti-lome. What caught my eye was the was the over 50 number for phosphate and the low nitrogen and K numbers. It is a powder that must be disolved in water to use. Does anybody know anything about his product? http://www.fertilome.com/product.aspx?pid=7eca7da6-3ec6-46e8-932b-0db4c57745e1

Kay

Generally speaking:

Nitrogen = stalk/leaf production
Phosphorous = flower/bloom production
Potassium = root production

It's a lot more involved than that, and as with anything in nature, there is a lot of overlap(all 3 help with photosynthesis for example). Following the link, it says for blooming and root production(which it does. and also general plant growth, that 8 for Nitrogen counts for something). I think generally speaking(again..it's a lot more involved), most food crops do better with a balanced fertilizer(8-8-8, 10-10-10, etc.). Luckily for us, if our compost blend and MM is right, we don't need any of that. For heavy feeders, such as corn, a side dressing of more blended compost should be sufficient if it is needed at all.

I'm not really a big fan of chemical fertilizers, or products that claim to be plant food...there is no such thing as plant food. Plants make their own food via photosynthesis. Fertilizer is more akin to a vitamin supplement than food. Chemical fertilizers and biocides(herbicide, fungicide, pesticide) use a horrendous amount of oil to make, and I think that oil supply is better put towards electricity and transportation. /soapbox

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  camprn on 4/17/2012, 9:03 am

Unmutual, you make a good point. It is all really about keeping the growing medium in a healthy state. Healthy soil begets healthy plants.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  Cincinnati on 4/17/2012, 10:04 am

@camprn wrote:... It is all really about keeping the growing medium in a healthy state. Healthy soil begets healthy plants.

I agree that this is the key. Healthy soil begets healthy plants which begets healthy bodies. Since I learned that balancing all the soil nutrients gives great tasting foods and provides our bodies with what we need, I have stopped putting any additive in my soil or in my MM that I am not certain is needed. At this point, it's simply crushed Ag limestone and a bit of bloodmeal because I have no manure in my compost. Plants have a harder time in unbalanced soils because nutrient uptake is effected by whatever else is competing for the available sites in the root system.

When the soil gets unbalanced, ie: unhealthy, the undesirable soil organisms thrive.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  plantoid on 4/17/2012, 7:09 pm

Here is a snippet i found today , it might also apply to youn guys and gals over in the USA who have purchased bagged compost that has " garden " waste in it be it householders or a commerciall cut grass .

" Farming Today on the Beeb this morning may have the answer.

They interviewed a plant grower on Yorkshire who lost all his tomato plants last year and found that the culprit was the domestic green waste which is composted and added to peat free commercial composts.

This can contain tiny amounts of a common lawn weedkiller - one part per billion of weedkiller in the compost is enough to wipe out a tomato crop.


Clearly I was lucky as mine eventually grew through the problem and cropped ok, but very late.
This year I changed my brand but I'm just off to see if I can find out if they have used the same sourse of composted garen waste . "

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

Post  has55 on 4/21/2015, 10:49 am

@plantoid wrote:Here is a snippet i found today , it might also apply to youn guys and gals over in the USA who have purchased bagged compost that has " garden " waste in it be it householders or a commerciall cut grass .

"  Farming Today on the Beeb this morning may have the answer.  

They interviewed a plant grower on Yorkshire who lost all his tomato plants last year and found that the culprit was the domestic green waste which is composted and added to peat free commercial composts.  

This can contain tiny amounts of a common lawn weedkiller - one part per billion of weedkiller in the compost is enough to wipe out a tomato crop.


Clearly I was lucky as mine eventually grew through the problem and cropped ok, but very late.
This year I changed my brand but I'm just off to see if I can find out if they have used the same sourse of composted garen waste . "
Boffer, thank you for referring me to this great thread. I used to use outside sources of grass from the local neighborhoods for mulching my SFG bed plants against Texas heatwave . I found that it slowed my growth of the plants. very few, stay at the baby level, most made it to the final stage like Plantoid, but it would be in the heatwave. I suspected herbicides. I only use my grass now. But I quit using it since I switch to wood chips for mulching. I put coffee on the top of soil, covered with mulched and spindle coffee on the mulch during the season. This has work very well, better leaf color, stronger plants, faster growth, great changes in soil structured, fungi, friendly organism, increase earthworm growth and better adjustment to temperature changes. I going to increase the composting mixture like buffer did and post my results later. his results and other were very impressive.

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Re: Mel's Mix Lab Analysis Results

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