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Soil testsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 21 March, 2011

by Rosemary at 8:55pm in Soil 2 comments Comments closed

Since our main crop is grass, and it's important to us to get it right, we decided to have our soil tested. As well as pH, the test looks at levels of macro nutrients like potassium and phosphorus and levels of micro nutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. The nutrients in the grass are inflluenced by the nutrient status of the soil, and the various elements interact with each other as well. For example, high levels of zinc can interfere with the availability of iron.

Across our ten acres, we had five samples taken and they are all different. Only Sheepfold needs lime while the other areas have a high pH, which should decrease over time simply by grazing with livestock. Across all the areas tested, some key elements are low - calcium, sulphur, sodium (odd since we're so near the sea?).

I had a quick chat with Geordie today about what we might do but now I've had time for a better look at the results, I will have to talk with him again. We agreed to use calcified lime on Sheepfold to correct the pH and the calcium deficiency, Grasstrac on all areas to add essential nutrients copper, selenium, cobalt, zinc, iodine and sodium, plus sulphur to improve grass growth. The treatments are mainly concerned with animal health, but I now see that phosphorus levels are low in Five Acre and potassium is very low over all areas - this will adversely affect grass growth and hardiness, so we need to look at that too.

Of course, applying these products is going to be an issue since we don't have the machinery to do it - but Geordie has promised to "sort something out" for me. I really am grateful for his help. But before we spread anything, we need to get the drainage sorted.

Comments

Wanda Wood

Tuesday 22 March, 2011 at 5:28am

Hi Rosemary and Dan! I was so excited to visit and see all the cool pictures!! Everything is looking great! Do you have a pond on this property? Did not see any pictures of your house. Is it all done now? We are still having snow, but we hear spring weather is around the corner! YEA! We just ordered a new Apricot tree from Alaska. Safe to 50 below zero. All the other fruit trees we have planted from Alaska are doing well. Keep up the great work, your place is revolving into a really beautiful farm. I really enjoy seeing all your achievements.

Wanda Wood

Tuesday 22 March, 2011 at 5:29am

I forgot to ask you guy's. In all your remodeling, did you find any interesting historic artifacts? Thought there might have been some, due to the age of the house.

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