Soil Health Friday: The importance of Soil Tests

We had many people contact us with questions about soil testing, PH reading, etc. One of the most common questions that come up is “I tested my PH, it’s good! However, my crop hasn’t been successful, why?”

Although charts like the above have been published and used all over the wildlife to garden industry, they are incomplete. These charts show how PH is correlated to nutrient uptake in the plant, this is great! However, this also assumes that all the adequate nutrients are available in the soil profile and in ample bio-available amounts. We know that there is variability even between soil tests and tissue tests, therefore relying only on PH tests, relative to nutrient uptake is a bit of a stretch and can mislead the grower.

This is why sound soil testing practices and consistencies can save you time, money, and heartache wondering why a crop failed. Soil labs, like our partner -WARD LABS, use the DTPA extraction method. This method shows what nutrients are available in the soil and in what quantities. This type of information allows us to fine-tune our amendment program if we so choose.

We are enormous fans of allowing biology to do the work for us at Vitalize Seed. We know that our highly diverse mixes are well formulated to take advantage of what is in the soil, and cycle these nutrients from deep into the soil profile to the plant and back!

However, we also recognize that many folks are just starting and the ground they have is far from the prime agricultural ground. This is where it can be tremendously helpful to soil sample, amend to get your PH and Base Saturations in the correct range, and even consider foliar feeding certain missing nutrients – if needed. This will help to jump-start your program!

This type of effort and using a well-balanced highly diverse seed mix like Vitalize Seed will allow you to cycle nutrients and create a system that relies on biology vs. inputs.

This is the tip of the iceberg as to why soil sampling is so critical to a grower’s success.

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