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Old March 19, 2013   #16
nnjjohn
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My test kit reveals nitrogen is depleted,, the PH P and K are good color match ..I use that soil test kit with the four color viles and color capsules.. My tomato plants are slow to grow and flower but than every year was different , bad weather,, no sun too much rain.. still, I know I need nitrogen,, just not sure if I need anything else.
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Old March 19, 2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa569 View Post
Wow... Ok so I tested my native lava ash soil we have on the ground out here (the video is not up yet). I was thinking I could use maybe half that, half good potting mix for the container plants. Well... Here are the test results:

Ph: 8.0 / Alkaline
Potash: Low
Nitrogen: VERY low
Phosphorus: VERY low

Yeah. I know. lol.

Actually, the last two.. Nitrogen and Phosphorus.. Were so low, they didn't even register! Really, they stayed the natural color of soil and water, didn't change at all.

Looks like this lava ash/sand up here is fairly devoid of just about everything, lol. I was a little disappointed, with how most of the people I've met face-to-face are always saying how nutrient-rich it is. Hmmmmm.

The only good thing I can say about this stuff is--- Its GREAT for drainage. Pretty much impossible to over water. And I guess its good that I can control the amount of nitrogen (if I do mix some of this in with my potting mix), because it would be added. So "leafy plants with no fruit" can be avoided.

But seems like I will need a decent potting mix and some good nutrients for at least 80-90% of what my plants will be growing in, to have a respectable harvest.
I think, that the handicap of your native ash lava soil can be advantage for growing some tomatoes. They are heirloom tomatoes from surround of volcano Vesuvio in Italy. They are for example varieties San Marzano (SM 3, Gigante, Lampadine etc.), Principe Borghese, Grapoli d´Inverno. Look for on You Tube- „pomodoro Piennolo“. I think, that your soil is conformable.
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Old March 19, 2013   #18
nnjjohn
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Melissa, If I may be so bold to answer part, if any of your test soil questions, I think I read that PH is high .. mine looked high last season so i used peat moss as was recommended, and think that helped,, my PH test this season reads second color below the darkest on the chart.. so likely around 7 PH which if fine.. N is very low for my five separate small gardens around my yard too , according to my 14 dollar capsule color test kit ,, anyway.. the K and P is showing adequate in all but one of my five gardens around the house.. so the test capsule color kit seems to work at some degree.. not sure if it is crucial a lab test for lab test numbers. Organic matter is best, I plan on using cow or horse manure tilled in the beds.. It took me a few seasons to get my beds enriched to pretty good looking soil. compost maintenance and basic test kit.. add deficiency matter. In my case, I do not want to raise PH or P or K so.. going to try just mixing a little horse manure I get free from a local horse stable now and few weeks later during planting, mixing a little blood meal and fish fertilizer just outside the roots to get the nitrogen up.. jmho, john

Last edited by nnjjohn; March 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM. Reason: wording spell check
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Old March 19, 2013   #19
paulgrow
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N is a constantly changing item. It migrates through the soil fairly quickly.
Most soil tests won't list it in the results.
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Old March 19, 2013   #20
nnjjohn
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N is a constantly changing item. It migrates through the soil fairly quickly.
Most soil tests won't list it in the results.
so what you are saying than is the PH green capsule test kit is crucial but also importantly are the NPK TESTS.. I know why my tomato plants were slow to grow after seeing the low nitrogen test..I am going to concentrate on raising the nitrogen deficiency results using blood meal and fish while planting .
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Old March 19, 2013   #21
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You want to be careful with N levels; too high and you'll get a lot of foliage and less fruit production.
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Old March 19, 2013   #22
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Thank you for reminding me.. Believe me , I experienced foilage and no flowers or crop yield for other reasons as well.. like planting too late going into the hot dry season.. also overfeeding using that box granular blue 15-30-15 all purpose Tried two summers with mixed results..mostly poor results.. but I do know my soil needs nitrogen enrichment.. one over thought was thinking the horse manure from the stable would have been sufficient but as it turned out, not so.. Only after I learned that the wood chips the stables use to for horse bedding due in large the greater percentage wood chip mix was responsible for depleting the nitrogen.. this is what I read somewhere. So yes, i want to be sure not to overdose using 12-0-0 blood meal and fish as well but at the same time see something visual on the color test for N. before planting or while planting.
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Old March 23, 2013   #23
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Peaceful Valley sells a Foothills Mix for use with Sierra foothills
soils. It is intended for in-ground beds. I do not know how it
would work with container mix. (You could email them and
ask, perhaps.) They also sell high-reliability soil tests (not a kit).

http://www.groworganic.com/fertilize...l-testing.html
http://www.groworganic.com/foothill-...s-n-25-lb.html
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Old March 25, 2013   #24
nnjjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa569 View Post
Wow... Ok so I tested my native lava ash soil we have on the ground out here (the video is not up yet). I was thinking I could use maybe half that, half good potting mix for the container plants. Well... Here are the test results:

Ph: 8.0 / Alkaline
Potash: Low
Nitrogen: VERY low
Phosphorus: VERY low

Yeah. I know. lol.

Actually, the last two.. Nitrogen and Phosphorus.. Were so low, they didn't even register! Really, they stayed the natural color of soil and water, didn't change at all.

Looks like this lava ash/sand up here is fairly devoid of just about everything, lol. I was a little disappointed, with how most of the people I've met face-to-face are always saying how nutrient-rich it is. Hmmmmm.

The only good thing I can say about this stuff is--- Its GREAT for drainage. Pretty much impossible to over water. And I guess its good that I can control the amount of nitrogen (if I do mix some of this in with my potting mix), because it would be added. So "leafy plants with no fruit" can be avoided.

But seems like I will need a decent potting mix and some good nutrients for at least 80-90% of what my plants will be growing in, to have a respectable harvest.
test kit I used was the luster leaf rapitest 14 dollars on amzn.. 40 tests includes ph mine is 7 K (potash) wask3 sufficient.. N (nitrogen) very low no color P (phosphorus) seemed very low too but I left all the test kits rest several hrs and I eventually get a level color p3 (sufficient) for the P test for the N test.. it always confirmed low nitrogen level (clear color) no (depleted) on the five tests from different beds in my yard at different days last few weeks. . I may opt for a proffesional lab soil test but only if I suspect herbicides in my beds.. I used local stable manure and now i'm a bit worried after reading some threads here on the matter. Someone here suggested I try the bean seed test,, i am going to try that first..
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Last edited by nnjjohn; March 25, 2013 at 07:20 PM.
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