Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Learning all the time

In my exuberance to get started on planting vegetables, I had these few lettuce starts in the bed before I remembered that I was going to do a soil test before planting anything. I thought the vegetables I grew last year, could have done a whole lot better. Even though I had added a fair bit of compost and some veggie fertilizer to the new beds, I still thought there was possibly something missing.

This is a basic inexpensive soil test kit which works just fine, except this one had been sitting around the house for years, and did not work very well, so I purchased a new one so I would have accurate readings.
My analysis showed:
pH level (acidity/alkalinity) was very slightly acidic.
Phosphorus - a surplus
Potash - sufficient
Nitrogen - deficient
The kit has a very good insert which shows what kinds of fertilizers you can use and the amount per 100 square feet of garden.
According to the information provided with the kit, I need to add Blood meal or Nitrate of soda to correct the nitrogen deficiency.I decided to save money and use the blood meal I already had on hand
I think I am getting this vegetable growing figured out at last.

As soon as I have amended the raised beds, the romaine lettuce, Borrettana Cipollini onions, and the Lancelot leeks can be planted.
Well off I go to get the blood meal worked into the beds, and perhaps get some of the onions, leeks and lettuce in the ground before it rains again.


Darla said...

What a smart gardener you are...can't wait to see the difference once the soil is amended..

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Good job! I need to do the same!

Kathleen said...

I need to check mine too. Last year was my first year to have a raised bed and the veggies did terrible. I added all soil & compost bought in bags ~ maybe something is off? I hope your garden does great now that you know what you need to amend.

Anonymous said...

It seems like you are doing this the right way, Keewee. I have never done a soil test, and need to. It seemed intimidating, but you make it seem simple. Thanks for the encouragement! :-)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hey, KeeWee,
Try planting some lettuce seeds, then eat the thinnings. They grow quickly to the size your starts are, and you can even eat more thinnings when they are that size. I just pull them out, then tear off the roots from them. I'm assuming your rabbits don't get to the raised beds. Oh, maybe I'm remembering a fence around them, too. You'll have to post more photos of your growing areas.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your plants will be thanking you!