When I first started working on the farm I noticed there was a lot of dried and decomposing manure. I asked around and found out that the previous farmer had amended the soil very liberally with cow manure. My first thought was, awesome! I have a lot of nitrogen in my soil which will help my lettuce out immensely.
To be sure what I needed to do soil amendment-wise, I decided to get a quick soil test done. Four dollars and thirty minutes later I found out some very interesting things. (Note: If you want a really detailed soil test, you can send samples to your local ag-extension office but they can charge an arm and a leg ($75 plus) for a little vial. You get what you pay for though. Details. Details. Details.)
Surprisingly the pink number, nitrogen, was on the low side. Perhaps there wasn’t enough manure to go around. Anyway, the good side to this is I know that I need to up my nitrogen and my potassium (potash for short) and perhaps lower my soils alkalinity a bit to become more neutral or even a bit acidic.
All in all, the great things about testing and experimenting is that you are able to make a more informed decision which will hopefully create a better environment for the plants to grow and thrive in.
Well, Back to The Farm.