In the middle of launching a vegetable garden, I decided to start off on a good basis and have my soil analyzed. I was confident, sure of my deductions; the Condroz (Belgium) is only limestone, but it is certainly good soil. We are not a region with such a high concentration of castles for nothing! (agriculture and steel industry to be honest)
Moui ... It was before that nice cold shower. This is because when you have a pH of tap water at 8.5, a well water pH of 7.5 (old well, wide and 25m deep) and you live in an area full of caves, primroses and geraniums, we do not expect to have a KCl pH of 5 and number of parameters clears the daisies, when they do not flirt with the blockage due to this acidity. In short, I was disillusioned. In itself, I measure a water pH of 6.2 which seems to confirm the acetate pH (?) Of the lab (also 6.2). Not terrible, but not terrible either. It's the gap that worries me, this damn reserve of acidity that we will have to fight.
And as I read somewhere that it seems that we could possibly solve the problem by the only contribution of hay and BRF, I really want to try the green devil (the reds do not interest me). In short, a very simple question; is it illusory to rely only on these contributions?
To be as clear as possible, here are the combined results of my research;
- Previous land use: orchard since 1850 (thank you for the old maps). Area mown once or twice a year for at least 10 years ("hay" crushed on site). No intake or treatment of any kind.
- Type of soil according to soil maps; silty-stony with psammitic load. 80 to 100 cm deep before the first traces of gravel.
- Plateau at the top of the hill (alt: 340m). Good drainage but lots of water at depth. Fairly high local rainfall, 1250mm / year according to a source, which seems probable to me according to my observations. Even 2019 just slightly tarnished the lawn when the valley was scorched (I only water the pots).
- pH KCl: 5.0
- Acetate pH: 6.2
- Organic carbon: 1.9%
- Nitrogen: 0.2%
- Clay: 15.5%
- Humus: 3.8%
- CEC: 10.2 meq / 100gr
- Phosphorus: 0.53 mg / 100gr TS (between 3.0 and 6.0) (desirable values depending on the lab)
- Potassium: 6.2 mg / 100gr TS (between 12.0 and 19.9)
- Magnesium: 7.5 mg / 100gr TS (between 7.4 and 12.4)
- Calcium: 124 mg / 100gr TS (average according to the lab)
- Sodium: 2.2 mg / 100gr TS
- Copper: 1.3 mg / kg TS (between 4 and 6.5)
- Zinc: 6.8 mg / kg TS (between 6 and 8.5)
- Manganese: 12.6 mg / kg (between 45 and 80)
- Iron: 69 mg / kg (between 100 and 120)
Many parameters are therefore in the red, see very red. In my opinion, well blocked by the pH. The lab obviously advises me to rob the lime stock of the nearest garden center.
What surprises me is that the humus level is not that bad (high according to the lab, probably much less in phenoculture). The castings are not rare, the BRF is quickly whitish and it abounds in many critters of all kinds. The garden is full of wasteland, trees, hedges requiring a good large scale to be pruned and I do not like fires or the container park.
So, if all these contributions are not enough, although it is a perpetual recycling of the same miseries that remain where they are cut, would an external contribution be a game-changer?
Thank you in advance for your answers.
- Econologue expert
- posts: 5654
- Registration: 27/05/17, 22:20
- Location: boundary between North and Aisne
- x 919
well it all depends a little on the speed of recovery that you want
instead of lime would you have a source of wood ash? it can be free, that
afterwards I no longer have in mind the evolution of the ph at Didier, he will tell you more on this point
- Econologue expert
- posts: 6103
- Registration: 31/10/16, 18:51
- Location: Lower Normandy
- x 886
Before you get too many knots in your brain, I think you have to go, try and see.
As for what grows there, I have above all an experience on fruit trees and indeed, the most calcareous of the lot posed a problem for me without my understanding why. The gogi and fig trees did not grow well in the first years but an annual contribution of BRF and coming from outside (for 3 years) improved things. Raspberries, even if more adapted to acidity, produced regular chlorosis which disappeared with the same treatment. In new plots (November), the gooseberries are surviving as best they can and the kiwai are not very vigorous, the treatment seems to take some time to be effective. Old apple trees and many ornamental trees mark difficulties. An old oak more than a hundred years old has changed its head after a contribution of BRF and no longer sacrifices certain branches as it did before, its foliage is much more beautiful.
On the vegetable side, I installed hay in November to plant a few trials in the spring. The area was in the form of a meadow in the middle of an old orchard, as described above. Milanese cabbages, red cabbages, uncapped kale, lettuce of all kinds, chard (seedlings and pots), leeks, onions, potatoes, carrots (seedlings), tomatoes, radishes. The few who survived the slugs (Arion giganteus, a new species appeared in my garden ) are doing pretty well according to my (in) experience. Although chard and onions went to seed faster than expected, it seems due to the climate. The only ones to stand out are the tomato plants, cultivated in full wind but magnificent and crumbling with fruit in formation despite the weather. Not the slightest trace of mildew and company, I admit to being skeptical.
For the moment, it is about 6 plots of 5x1m more or less and separated from alleys of 2m. The vegetable garden is part of the general alignment of the garden. I plan to bring them together in pairs to make three 5x4m blocks at first. It's more of a game with the girls than a need to grow vegetables in order to survive. I have excellent market gardeners in the area who make really nice quality produce for local sale.
Ash side, I heat myself with wood. So I have some. I also work in garden centers (yes, I know) and can take back bags of lime with holes, there is a whole lot downgraded. I wouldn't play the stubborn mule but if I can avoid it, I prefer to reserve all these products for the die-hards of Didier's famous "paradigm 1".
The tests are ongoing and it will continue despite the failures. I don't have a deckchair but an excellent hammock, so it can easily be tied up and smoke up there. I also have an excellent book on knots that I still like to consult from time to time, even if it is a bit heavy to read lying down.
For clarification, the analysis concerns new plots only. We can speak of old meadow without contribution.
- Econologue expert
- posts: 8398
- Registration: 17/03/14, 23:42
- Location: picardie
- x 678
- Contact :
Does the analysis indicate the OM / clay ratio which is important to assess the physical fertility of soils?
For Pascal Boivin, the issue of carbon storage is not antagonistic to the technical performance of soils. Quite the contrary. "Whether from an environmental point of view or agronomic performance, a soil must have a good structure ensuring both resistance and resilience through sufficient structural porosity."
Studies have been carried out in this direction and show that the carbon / clay (or organic matter / clay) ratio is correlated with the good structural quality of the soil. Thus, it has been accepted that an OM / clay ratio of 17% is a minimum requirement for a sufficiently structured soil. “This is a realistic goal but necessary for a soil to be resistant and resilient, notes the professor. This is a pivotal value! Below this value, the soil is vulnerable. Above, the soil is better structured. " https://cultivar.fr/technique/le-taux-d ... n-contexte
For phosphorus and nitrogen I have my secret boot computer-electronic-electricity / urinal-is-really-economical-t16284.html # p377751
Who is online ?
Users browsing this forum : No registered users and 18 guests