Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Soil Testing

The bulk of our garden space consists of new beds, dug from a part of the yard where not a whole lot was growing previously. We amended the soil with manure, and hoped for the best. Several weeks after planting, things look kind of small, but healthy. We decided to get a cheap soil test kit (not necessarily the most reliable, I know) to see what the problem might be.

As is expected for this area, the soil is quite alkaline, which can make it hard for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil. There's enough potash and phosphorous for us to get by on, but the test for nitrogen didn't change color even the teensiest bit. A nitrogen deficiency is pretty much what I expected, since the plants seem kind of dwarfed.

I applied our first harvest of worm castings around the bases of as many plants as possible. We may have to find some other way of top dressing, because our worm compost supply is limited.

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