I almost did not blog about this, as I am embarrassed about what it says about my skills as and future as a farmer, but I decided I need to come clean! So here it is...
We finally bought a small soil test kit. I know! We should have done it first thing when we turned ground but we did not. Results would not really change the fact that we still need to plant those feilds. But last night we tested soil from both of our fields (1 location each but we will be doing more!)
Carrot row: Ph-6.5 (good), Nitrogen - Low to very low, Potassium-trace (that vial was supposed to change color?), Phosphorus-very low. UG!!!
Potato row: Ph-5.5 (low but potatoes like that), Nitrogen - Medium to high (Finally a good result!), Potassium - trace (I wonder if the test is working!), Phosphorous - very low...
Not good results, as hubby said it is amazing grass grows up there! So we need to work on both our short term and long term soil building and fertilization plans.
Short term we have two backpack sprayers on the way so we can foliar feed our plants as much as we need to. Currently we use a small sprayer and it is such a pain that we do not always spray when we should. You may be asking yourself "But I THOUGHT they were growing naturally!" We are! But foliar feeding is an established method of organic fertilization. By using a combination of natural products we can supply many of the needs of a plant efficiently and reducing runoff by spraying the products on their leaves right before sunset. Then when the stoma open at night so the plant can breath it absorbs the nutrients very quickly and effectively.
Longer term I fear that our planned cover crops and green manures will not be nearly enough to make up the deficiencies. We will probably have to use significant amounts of organic soil amendments over the next few years to make up the deficiencies... It may be a long road.
But in the end I want to be able to post that our soil in amazingly healthy! High in everything and a perfect pH, the kind of ground that will grow any seed that touches it into a wonderful vegetable!