micro elements

oldokieFebruary 7, 2014

Been doing to much reading on these cold days.
Do you guys worry much about micro elements in your fertilizer. I use standard 13-13-13 some compost . this year i am adding Epson salt . soil test do not mention these 10 or so other elements

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slowpoke_gardener

My soil tests show P, K, Ca, Mg, S04-s, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu, and B. The only comment is add 3 lbs. of 34-0-0 per 1000 sq. ft.. The comment about the nitrogen is on all my soil test, and they don't even test for nitrogen. I try to add compost or organic matter each year and very little of anything else, other than water. On certain crops I may spray a little blue water. The soil test always has the PH. reading on it, which has been between 5.9 and 7.0. At this point I have not found a need to do anything else.

Larry

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I don't give a whole lot of thought to micronutrients now because I add so much organic matter to the garden soil on a perpetual basis that I believe the soil has everything it needs for the plants. Keep in mind I started out with red clay soil that was high in fertility but had poor tilth. The first few years here, I would see various symptoms of a micronutrient deficiency every now and then, and I'd add an organic fertilizer that was complete and balanced and included micronutrients. I haven't seen any signs of any sort of micronutrient deficiency in years, so I don't worry about it.

As long as your plants grow well and produce well, your soil likely contains everything the plants need. Usually, as Larry mentioned, soil pH plays a big role in how well your plants grow. With a soil pH that is in the proper range, the nutrients in the soil are available for uptake. When the soil pH is very high or very low, nutrients sometimes are not available for uptake even though they exist in the soil. You also can have nutritional imbalances that make some nutrients unavailable for uptake due to a surplus of another nutrient.

I mostly just add organic matter, mostly in the form of compost and mulch, and consider that feeding the soil. The soil then feeds the plants. If you are feeding your soil and letting it feed your plants, you probably don't have any micronutrient deficiencies. If you do, the plants will let you know by underperforming or by being off-color.

Some soil tests do test for micronutrients, but with some labs you have to pay extra for tests that include the micronutrients.

Fast-draining sandy soils (and I mean soil that is mostly sand like sugar sand, not true sandy loams) sometimes have a lot more trouble holding nutrients, both major and minor, than soils that have a higher clay content and/or a higher level of organic matter. With my two bands of sandy soil, I have to add a lot more organic matter to the soil than I did with the clay or I do see poorer plant growth. Compost still is my preferred amendment even in the sandier areas.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 1:47PM
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oldokie

going to get a new soil test as soon as ground thaws

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 2:44PM
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