Soil organic matter(SOM)

Discussion in 'Organics' started by MustangStudFarm, Jan 24, 2018.

  1.  
    hillbill

    hillbill Well-Known Member

    Drainage in topsoil which is usually various sizes of sand. Take a scoop of perlite and a scoop of paver's sand as well as 8822 and note how a test might be skewered.
     
  2.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    OK, so I just got the K3 test results back from Spectrum Analytic and having the weighted scoop test was a lot more revealing of what I have going on. Everything is still in extreme excess!
    DSC00955.JPG
     
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  3.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I am just going to start over with peat and aeration, I still have plenty of stuff on hand to make a decent soil. I am going to avoid using heavy amounts of P and K.

    Here is a list of stuff that I have on hand:
    Oyster Shell Flour
    Basalt
    Glacial rock dust
    Gypsum

    Fish meal
    Kelp
    Feather meal
    Alfalfa meal

    I am low on compost and worm castings right now, so I am going to get a bag of castings to make teas with... The problem with my tea in the past was that I was dealing with K tox issues, so anytime that I used molasses in a tea, everything looked worse afterwards. This time, I am going to use fish hydrolysate for a fungal based tea and white cane sugar for bacterial dom tea... I do have a nice "air lift" tea brewer that I made myself. I just have not been using it lately, but I think that I have a better grasp on things now. The only reason that I am trying for teas is because I am low on compost.

    I thought that I had more pictures but I couldn't find them. Anyways, I made this out of a trash can, pvc, and a $130 air pump. I have 2 jets, like on the right of the pic.
    DSC00478.JPG
     
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  4.  
    rikdabrick

    rikdabrick Well-Known Member

    Is this the soil you have plants in right now? Have you run much water through it yet? I'm asking because it's kind of weird that you're overloaded on all your major base cations. The Ca and Mg should start kicking out some of the K and Na.

    Here's the numbers I'd be shooting for for that soil:
    Ca 4284 (I don't really worry about excess Ca)
    Mg 363
    K 491
    Na 12
    P 491
    S 246 (but I don't really worry about excess S either)
    Fe 245
    Mn 123
    Zn 49
    Cu 25

    So you have arond 2x as much Mg and K than you should have and 60x the amount of Na than I would want. I would actually add more P, Mn, Zn and Cu and your Fe is perfect.

    Also compost and EWC are almost always high in K and usually high in Na too. I would use it sparingly if I were to use it, which I don't, but if I were growing in pots I would consider using it at 5% of my mix
     
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  5.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I kept cutting it with peat and aeration. I don't feel like I am getting anywhere with this Build-a-soil brand and I am done with it... I would discourage anyone from using Build-a-soil in the future also
     
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  6.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    someone else is having issues with their buildasoil product as well
     
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  7.  
    Space_cadet

    Space_cadet Well-Known Member


    Ill be honest i got lost half way through the thred things got over my head.

    Always thought having an excess of everything is good thing. I mean if i got my soil tested ( i mix up my own kinda super soil ), i know shits gonna measure through the fucking roof. It consists mostly of a mix of garden/kitchen waste composted with a shit tone of organic slow release fertilizer, lots of pot ash and charcoal from the fire place, blood and bone, mixed chook feed, kelp, mushroom compost an whatever else i feel is gonna be good. Build it up for over 6 months or so letting the microbes and beasties do there work before mixing it with soil dug from my veggie garden and then mix in coco coir an perlite till i like the consistency then let that sit for 2 or 3 months. I use the super soil mix in the bottom half of the pots then just garden soil on top.

    I get the feeling that you might have either a microbial problem or you dont have a good balance of various ph buffers in your soil or maybe a both.

    I mean you can best balanced soil in tbe world but if you have little to no microbes or lacking the right ones your going to have problems. But to be honest i didn't know sulfur could be so acidic to throw off the ph so badly. Maybe you need a few different types of calcium added to soil, might sound odd but humric acid might help aswell.

    I wouldn't give up on it man. Worst comes to worst pile it up cut it with some sand or vermiculite to dilute it a bit (get your sulfur leves down) then build up everything else you diluted give it a good hit of great white, let it sit for 3or 4 months give a few hits of humric acid and microbial enzyme thingys (great white) along the way while you wait an see what happens. I dunno if sny of this helps or not.
     
  8.  
    hillbill

    hillbill Well-Known Member

    What does BuildAsoil say about these troubles?
     
  9.  
    Wetdog

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    No telling what they would say at first, but you can bet your ass it ends up at "operator error", or something similar. :roll:

    No slam on Stang, 'operator error' is a #1 fallback position.
    Just saying

    Wet
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  10.  
    Wetdog

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    I think the peat and aeration is your bet bet right now and what I would do/have done in a similar situation. Just make sure you lime the peat before adding it. Your pH was low on the sample, no need to make it lower. LOL

    Wet
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  11.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    Sure!!!
     
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  12.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    If you notice on the test that Ca and Mg were slightly high but the Ph was still low, I am guessing that it was from the unholy amount of Sulfur. I think that the S keeps buffering the Ph and I will never have a proper Ph balance in that soil...

    I am looking at starting with new peat... How much oyster shell flour, basalt, and glacial rock dust should I be using to lime the peat?

    Also, I have a question about the Basalt that I am using. It is Cascade Minerals brand from Oregon. My question is about the amount of Al, it does not show that it has any Al but are they really required to show the amount that is in there? If I wanted Al in my soil, I would have used Azomite..,.

    GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

    Calcium (Ca)…………………………………..1.0%
    Magnesium (Mg)….…………………………0.5% 0.01% Water Soluble Magnesium (Mg)
    Iron (Fe)…………………………..………..…….4.0%
    Manganese (Mn) ………………………….. 0.05%
    0.001% Water Soluble Manganese (Mn)

    Derived from: Basalt
     
  13.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I had to read your quote again... I am not reusing the soil from the test, I am going to start all over with my own amendments, peat, and perlite. I don't want excess of anything in my next batch of soil!!!
     
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  14.  
    Space_cadet

    Space_cadet Well-Known Member

    Sorry bloke was super stoned last night i haven't had much of of smoke of late. I shouldn't have posted a comment as i didn't fully understand what was going on.

    Bit more clear headed today

    Your right high sulfur is a shit (pretty unusual tho come across, iv never seen it before in pre mixed or self made soil). I feel your frustration.

    The fuckers must dig there base soil from a rim of an active volcano ha ha but more likely there base soil was highly alkaline an they added enough sulfur to correct it on the spot, meaning adding way way to much(when im fucking with ph and my soil its a slow process, test soil, add amendments, let it sit for a week or two to level out and test again and possibly repeat).

    You could add a shit tone of lime to your soil let things level out over a week or two and see how you go. Aslong as your ph is corrected you shouldn't have anymore problems even if things are in excess. (Noticed a couple of others saying the same kinda thing)

    I dunno if you still got your plants in or not but i would hit them with water ph'ed on the high side like 8-8.5 then measure your run off till you start getting close to your targeted number.

    Soil shouldn't be completed, iv never used a test to see what my levles are other than a rough ph test, never needed to
     
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  15.  
    Wetdog

    Wetdog Well-Known Member

    Ok, good! You can play with that later.

    What I do with liming agent that keeps life simple is treat it as a stand alone. Not part of any 'mineral mix' nor added/counted with any other amendment. It is my second ingredient in the mix, the first being the peat moss.

    1cup/cf of total mix that you are mixing up. I use dolomite, but that amount holds true for OSF as well.

    Put your measured amount of expanded peat moss in whatever you are mixing it in (I use a wheelbarrow and mix up 2cf at a pop), add the liming agent (2cups in my case), and dry mix the two. IDK about OSF, but the dolo turns the peat a grayish color. That's it, done! Only then do I continue adding the other ingredients/amendments. The liming of the mix is taken care of!

    For rock dust, I only have experience with Granite meal (local and cheap), but keep it right around 2cups/cf and never more than 3cups/cf. Had issues with the mix getting too dense and causing aeration problems with over 3 cups/cf. IME, the 2cups will provide everything needed.

    Over the years the mix has evolved to something that works very well for me, but is a bit different than the 1:1:1 mix a lot go by. I'd be glad to share it if you're interested.

    Wet
     
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  16.  
    rikdabrick

    rikdabrick Well-Known Member

    There is definitely some Al in basalt. It's just a question of how much. I'd guess you'd have to call and ask them.

    If I were you, I'd just get as much peat moss base as you're going to get, mix it all up and send it in to get it tested. Peat moss isn't inert; it has some minerals already and it's all different depending on where it was harvested.

    I'm pretty positive that the reason for some of the minerals getting so high after you amended last time was because I told you to measure based on volume when I should have told you to amend based on weight. The whole soil test is written in PPM's which is the same as mg/kg so if you weight out a certain volume (the easiest would be something close to a multiply of a kilogram, e.g., 2.2lbs, 4.4lbs, 6.6lbs, etc.) then add minerals based on the weight (instead of cubic feet) you should hit the mark on your desired mineral ratios pretty easily.

    Also on your overloaded soil, I'd set it aside and run a lot of water through it, mix it up and run a lot of water through it, etc. A lot of those excess minerals should leach out because they should free floating since that soil has more minerals in it then it should be able to hold. It's not useless, but it definitely needs some fixing.
     
    hillbill likes this.
  17.  
    hillbill

    hillbill Well-Known Member

    Soil inherently contains an immense amount of minerals in the form of gravel, sand, silt and clay. Indoor mixes are made to be light in weight for ease of handling. That blows the results entirely. Weight that scoop of sand and one of perlite. Agree 100% with @rikdabrick !
     
  18.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I stumbled upon this podcast and it was a breath of fresh air. I rented these books from the library the other day and I need to start reading them...

    Episode 2: Jeff Lowenfels explains Mycorrhizal Fungi, Compost Teas, and the Soil Food Web
    http://podbay.fm/show/1258365194/e/1499826256?autostart=1

    Here is an expanded list and I listened to Clackmas Coots... I can read books, but it is easier for me to listen to a lecture or podcast.
    http://podbay.fm/show/1258365194
     
  19.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    Right, I came across an article that was talking about why there is no set standard on how much to lime peat moss. I think that there was 3 different types of Sphagnum and they will have different CEC, mineral, and Ph values... They went on to talk about the different particle sizes for dolomite and other rock dusts affect how quickly they adjust the Ph. This is the brand of peat moss that I have, Sungo.

    http://www.sungro.com/issue-33-april-2005-harmonizing-peat-and-lime/
     
  20.  
    hillbill

    hillbill Well-Known Member

    Sphagnum peat varies from marsh to marsh and even within a marsh both by elevation and depth. Gonna take at least a couple Tbs of Limestone per gallon of peat. I’ve been using 2 Tbs of both limestone and dolomite per gallon with good results for some time.
     
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