SOIL PREPARATION An Earthkind Method

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Transcript SOIL PREPARATION An Earthkind Method

SOIL PREPARATION
An Earthkind Method
Vincent J. Mannino,
County Extension Director – Fort Bend
The Ideal Soil Contains:
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5% Organic Matter
1% Micro/Macro Organisms
45% Minerals
25% Air
25% Water
Organic Matter
Compost - Everything that was once living.
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Tree leaves
Grass clipping
Kitchen scraps
Old plants - flowers,
herbs, and vegetables
And lots of other
stuff...
Soil Micro/Macro-organisms
All the critters that are still living include:
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Micro-organisms:
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Bacteria, fungi, yeast, nematodes, algae, etc.
Macro-organisms:
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Earthworms, sow & pill bugs, snails and slugs,
earwigs, millipedes & centipedes, fire ants,
termites, springtails and snakes.
Air
The soil’s most plentiful component!
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Oxygen - about 45%
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Carbon - about 44%
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Hydrogen - about 6%
Ideal Mineral Amounts
Too little causes deficiencies,
Too much causes toxicities & ties up other minerals
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Primary Nutrients
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Secondary Nutrients
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Calcium - 6.5 %, 650 ppm
Magnesium -0.3%
Sulfur - 0.5%
Micronutrients
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Nitrogen - 2-4 %
Phosphates - 0.5%
Potassium -11.1%
Iron - 50-400 ppm
Zinc - 15-50 ppm
Manganese - 20-200 ppm
Salts (sodium & chloride) - hopefully none
Total Salts
What’s Good & What’s Not!
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Low Salinity Hazard =
< 160 ppm
Medium Salinity Hazard =
161 -480 ppm
High Salinity Hazard =
481 -1440 ppm
Very High Salinity Hazard =
> 1440 ppm
LOCATING THE GARDEN
The First Step:
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Sunshine
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Full sun (>6 hours per day for
flowers & fruits)
Partial sun (4-6 hours per day)
Shade (4 hours or less for leafy
plants)
LOCATING THE GARDEN
The Second Step:
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Drainage
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Do a “perk” test. Total drainage in 24 hours or
less is good, greater than 24 is bad and a raised bed
is a must.
LOCATING THE GARDEN
The Third Step:
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Competition
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Weeds - Avoid areas of the landscape that contain
hard to manage, noxious weeds.
Use: Solarization, heavy mulches, or cover crops.
Tree and Shrub roots under the garden will grow
upward in search of water and nutrients.
Use: Weed barriers that are permeable to air
and water.
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Solarization Process
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Till to break up clods
Add organic matter
Dampen for heat buildup and retention
Spread a 4-6 mil clear plastic sheet
Bury sides
Let stand for 6-8 weeks. Heats to 140
degrees F. at the surface and up to 110
at 12 inch soil depth
Kills soil micro and
macro-organisms in
the top 6 in. of soil
LOCATING THE GARDEN
The Fourth Step:
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Garden Size
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400 sq. ft. - the recommended
size for a family of four
Takes 1 hour of maintenance
per day
7 days per week
PREPARING THE GARDEN
The First Step:
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Single till or double till the
entire plot to 4-8 inches.
PREPARING THE GARDEN
The Second Step:
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For raised
beds add
sandy loam
soil to a
depth of 4-6
inches.
PREPARING THE GARDEN
The Second Step:
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Check the pH
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Add lime to increase the pH
Add sulfur or peat to decrease the pH
My County
What is pH?
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pH is the potential of the hydrogen ion
The logarithm of the reciprocal of the
hydrogen-ion concentration in gram atoms per
liter.
The balance of hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl
(OH-) ions and is therefore pH neutral (pH 7)
A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a
solution on a scale of 0-14 (where 7 is neutral)
What does all that mean?
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You ain’t got
no business
messin with
what you can’t
understand.
Soil
Report
pH Alteration Table - Lime
Pounds of Lime Needed to Raise Soil pH
to 6.5 (lbs. per 1,000 square feet)
Sand
Soil Type
Loam
Clay
6.0
5.5
20 lbs
45 lbs.
35 lbs.
75 lbs.
50 lbs.
100 lbs.
5.0
4.5
4.0
65 lbs.
80 lbs.
100 lbs.
110 lbs.
150 lbs.
175 lbs.
150 lbs.
200 lbs.
230 lbs.
Soil pH
Note: For amounts greater than 50 lbs., split into multiple
treatments of 50 lbs. or less with a 2-week interval
between applications.
pH Alteration Table - Sulfur
Pounds of Sulfur Needed to Lower Soil pH
to 6.5 (lbs. per 1,000 square feet)
Sand
Soil Type
Loam
Clay
8.5
45 lbs.
55 lbs.
65 lbs.
8.0
25 lbs.
35 lbs.
45 lbs.
7.5
10 lbs.
16 lbs.
25 lbs.
Soil pH
Apply lime or sulfur with a drop-type spreader to avoid kicking up too much dust.
pH Scale
Special Considerations When
Changing pH
Consider:
 Organic matter
source and content
 Acid rain
 Soil temperature
 Buffering capacity
PREPARING THE GARDEN
The Third Step:
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Amending the Soil
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Add well rotted compost
- the more the better.
Add aged manure – add
1-2 inches per year.
PREPARING THE GARDEN
The Fourth Step:
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Amending the Soil With Additional Nutrients
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Adding man-made nutrients
Adding organic fertilizers
Adding Nutrients
21-0-0
33-0-0
46-0-0
21-7-14
16-4-8
15-5-10
0-20-0
0-10-0
10-20-10
12-24-12
13-0-37
5-10-5
0-0-60
0-0-44
Adding Fertilizer
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Don’t guess – Soil Test!
Use clean tools and a
clean bucket
Test the root zone
Take 10 plugs and mix
well for one composite
Submit with $$ 4 weeks
prior to planting
Ask Your
County Agent
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Tell him:
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When was the soil test
taken
Soil type
Moisture supply
Crop (s) to be grown
Previous fertilizer used
and when
ALVY MOORE as Hank Kimball
in “Green Acres”
Plant Nutrients
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Primary Nutrients:
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Secondary Nutrients:
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Calcium - 6.5 %, 650 ppm,
Magnesium -0.3%,
Sulfur - 0.5%,
Micronutrients:
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Nitrogen - 2-4 % ,
Phosphates - 0.5%,
Potassium -11.1%,
Iron - 50-400 ppm,
Zinc - 15-50 ppm
Manganese - 20-200 ppm
Trace
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Molybdenum
Salts (sodium & chloride) -hopefully none
FAQ’s Regarding Fertilizers
Why should I fertilize my garden?
What do I need know about my garden (soil type,
plant type, exposure, water source) ?
What do I need to know about fertilizers?
How do I choose a fertilizer?
How much fertilizer should be applied?
When should I fertilize?
How often should fertilizer be applied?
What is this I hear about environmental issues and
fertilizer application?
PREPARING THE GARDEN
Amending with “man-made” Nutrients
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Complete & balanced fertilizers
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Complete fertilizer & unbalanced fertilizer
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(1:1:1 ratio): 8-8-8, 10-10-10, 13-13-13, 20-20-20
(1:2:1 ratio): 12-24-12, 10-20-10, 10-5-10, 6- 12-6,
(3:1:2 ratio) 15-5-10, 21-7-14, 18-6-12
(4:1:2 ratio) 16-4-8, 20-5-10
Incomplete fertilizers
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21-0-0, 33-0-0, 45-0-0, 0-20-0, 0-0-60,
What Do the Numbers Mean?
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The numbers on the bag
are important!
These numbers are
referred to as the “grade”
or minimum guaranteed
analysis
The numbers in order
represent the N:P:K ratio
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Nitrogen % by weight
Phosphate (P2O5) % by
weight
Potash (K2O) % by weight
Q. How do I know what nitrogen products are in the bag?
A. Look at the other information on the bag!
It will tell you the sources of N in the
container.
If slow release N sources are in the bag
they will be listed. Slow release sources
will cost more than readily available N
sources.
Difference Between a Slow-Release
and a Fast-Release Fertilizer
Lasts 6 weeks
Fast-Release fertilizers
are water soluble thus are
dependent on rainfall.
Lasts 10 weeks
Slow-Release fertilizers
are water insoluble.
They are broken down
and released by
microbial activity.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
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The fertilizer below contains some nitrogen that is
listed as water insoluble or "WIN" (slow release N).
The percentage is listed at 3.6%. It is also stated on a
weight basis. Therefore, 3.6 divided by 12 is .3 or
30%. The other 70% is considered readily available
nitrogen.
Readily available N
Slowly available N
Comparing Nitrogen Sources in Lawn Fertilizer
Nitrogen Source Category
Characteristic
Slowly Available
Readily Available
Response time
slow
quick
Burn potential
low
high
more seldom
More frequent
low
high
greater (varies)
short
Cost
high
low
Leaching potential
lower
high
reduced potential
higher potential
Application
Water solubility
Residual
Surface runoff
Note: White lettering relates to water quality &
environmental issues.
PREPARING THE GARDEN
Adding organic fertilizers:
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For Nitrogen
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Alfalfa (3-1-2)
Bat guano (10-3-1)
Blood meal (12-1-1)
Cottonseed meal (7-2-2)
Poultry manure (5- 3-2)
Sludge (5-3-0)
Primary Nutrient - Nitrogen (N)
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Role in Plant
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Cell growth and development
keeps leaves green
promotes rapid vegetative growth
increases seed and tuber yield and crop
quality.
Deficiency Symptoms
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appear in older parts of the plant
plant will eventually yellow (chlorosis)
slow-growing plants may show purpling
Poor growth, plants spindly and prone to
wilting
roots are overly large
all plants are susceptible.
PREPARING THE GARDEN
Adding organic fertilizers:
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For Phosphorus
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Bone Meal (0-12-1)
Colloidal phosphate (0-18-0)
Fish meal (7- 13-3)
Primary Nutrient - Phosphorus (P)
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Role in Plant
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photosynthesis, respiration
storing carbohydrates (energy)
early plant establishment
formation and quality of flowers,
fruits and seeds.
Deficiency Symptoms
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tends to show in older tissue (reddish
purple)
foliage becomes dull blue-green
growth is slow
PREPARING THE GARDEN
Adding organic fertilizers :
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For Potassium
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Greensand (0-2-5)
Molasses (1-0-5)
Sheep manure (5-3-2)
Blends
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Bioform (4-2-4)
Fertilaid (4-2-0)
Ringer (9-4-4)
Maestro-Gro (6-2-4)
GreenSense (3-1-2)
Tomas (8-2- 8)
Sustane (5- 2-4)
Primary Nutrient - Potassium (K)
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Role in Plant
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regulates water in cells, transpiration
Cell strengthening, photosynthesis
carbohydrate (energy) formation & storage
fruit quality
increases resistance to stress
Deficiency Symptoms
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appears in older tissues
Poor growth
leaf burn/spotting/mottling on the lower
leaves
younger leaves may show red pigmentation
Secondary Nutrient – Calcium (Ca)
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Role in Plant
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Plant strength, ie. constituent of cell walls
important in fruit set
water uptake
also involved in root and leaf development.
Deficiency Symptoms
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growing tip burns/dies
wilting due to cell breakdown
water soaked areas in fruit
Blossom-end rot in tomatoes and peppers
older leaves appear torn/distorted and small
decreased soil pH
Secondary Nutrient – Magnesium (Mg)
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Role in Plant
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essential in chlorophyll formation color
activates enzymes involved in food transport
and, sugar, fat and oil manufacture
important in cell multiplication and seed
production.
Deficiency Symptoms
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mottling and yellowing of older leaves
Leaf veins often remain green
Similar to iron, zinc, manganese and
calcium def.
decreased soil pH
Secondary Nutrient – Sulfur (S)
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Role in Plant
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important part of plant proteins
connected to chlorophyll production
responsible for the odor of flavors of
some plants
promotes growth and seed production
and, frost hardiness.
Deficiency Symptoms
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Similar to nitrogen w/ veinal chlorosis
increased soil pH
Micronutrient – Iron (Fe)
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Role in Plant
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connected to chlorophyll production
required for energy transfer/plant enzyme
functions and, photosynthesis.
Deficiency Symptoms
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iron is generally not lacking in the soil, but can
be locked in unavailable forms when pH is high
interveinal chlorosis occurs in young foliage
total bleaching (yellowing to whitening) of the
foliage in severe cases
Similar symptoms to manganese deficiency.
Micronutrient – Zinc (Zn)
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Role in Plant
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Essential for growth regulation
regulating sugar consumption
improves the efficiency of chlorophyll
function
important in water absorption and usage.
Deficiency Symptoms
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need to be corrected early!
bright interveinal chlorosis
premature leaf fall
Dieback/resetting of leaves
Micronutrient – Manganese (Mn)
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Role in Plant
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important in photosynthesis
important in chloroplast formation
Important the synthesis of some
enzymes.
Deficiency Symptoms
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Leaves yellow in interveinal chlorosis
some marginal leaf chlorosis
manganese is less mobile, symptoms
appear first on young leaves.
Micronutrient – Copper (Cu)
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Role in Plant
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intensifies color and flavor
essential in formation of new tissues
connected with respiration/photosynthesis
promotes long storage of sugars.
Deficiency Symptoms
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Stunting of plants
wilting of young tips, buds and shoots > death
older leaves develop chlorosis
Affects fertilization and fruit set
Micronutrient – Boron (B)
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Role in Plant
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Important in tissue respiration and cell
division
pollination, seed production
carbohydrate synthesis and transport
regulates water uptake.
Deficiency Symptoms
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slows and stunts growth
fruit and storage organ development is
impaired
stems crack or are hollow
death occurs on growing tips and root tips
Leaf distortion
Micronutrient – Molybdenum (Mo)
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Role in Plant
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important in leaf development
Important in nitrogen fixation
Deficiency Symptoms
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pale leaves as in nitrogen deficiency
some marginal leaf chlorosis
new leaves may twist and cup
Trace Element – Sodium (Na)
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Role in Plant
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Sodium may promote healthy growth
Can temporarily or partially replace potassium
may possibly enable some plants to withstand
drought conditions.
PREPARING THE GARDEN
The Fifth Step:
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Final tilling to a depth of 6-8 inches
Bed the rows
READY TO PLANT!