My beets and radishes, turnips don't seem to be making bulbs. Is my soil lacking something? Or am I rushing them?
I know I should do a soil test.
If I need something for the soil what should I use?
gmom, I suggest that you contact your local County Extension office for information regarding a basic soil test. They can hook you up with instructions on how to take proper samples, as well as supply you with the prepaid box you'll want for sending it to the lab.
I've attached a link to the list of counties in your state....click on yours to find the contact information.
Also, you might consider visiting the Vegetable Forum with your questions about your radishes and turnips.
Here is a link that might be useful: Call or visit your Extension Office
when did you plant them..
Beets, radishes, turnips, the root crops need a well balanced soil to grow and develop the part we eat, the root. That, according to many, means a lot of Phosporus, but that needs to be in balance with everything else because it is a complex process through which plants use different nutrients to grow.
A good, reliable soil test done through your county office of the Michigan State Universtiy Cooperative Extension Service is a start. They can tell you about your soils pH, the level of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, etc. in the soil and what needs to be done to bring those into balance, if necessary. Then you can use these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.
2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drainsÃ¯Â¿Â½ too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.
3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.
4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.
5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
to help with getting that soil into a good healthy condition.