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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Soil Problem Theory

Ok, so this year I have really been struggling with some major soil issues. Basically a nitrogen and phosphorus deficiency. So lately I have been doing a lot of reading about soil. So I came across a problem called nitrogen tie up, which basically occurs when organic matter decays and breaks down rapidly, in which it basically has to utilize the nitrogen in the soil causing the nitrogen to be unavailable to the plants. I read that this also happens with phosphorus and a few other minerals. I believe that since we have gotten so much rain it has caused the organic matter in the soil to break down much more rapidly than it would in a normal year. Since this is the first year that this soil is being planted in in a long time and some areas had a lot of grass, so there is a lot of organic matter that would be breaking down. I have also noticed that the areas that had the most grass when I was planting are also the areas that are the most affected. So I have started fertilizing with a liquid fish fertilizer that can be soaked in through the plants leaves hoping that it will give the plants a quick boost, which I am hoping will be enough to get them going until the whole organic matter break down process is done, and then the nitrogen and phosphorus should once again become available to the plants.

That being said everything is way behind, but I know I am not alone, many others are having similar issues. I was talking to someone the other day who is way behind due to the fact that their soil Ph was way off, which they have never had a problem with before, really I think they should probably test their soil nutrients also because they may have some issues there too. It seems as I look at peoples gardens they are either growing really really well or not growing at all. I think this year for most it is either a hit or miss, either you got lucky and have a great growing location and conditions or really unlucky like me.

I am still not sure what I am going to be doing about this weeks market at Valley City. I think I am going to have to wait till the day before to really make up my mind if I will be going or not. Right now things are just too unpredictable. My greens are just now starting to look pretty good and I really should have enough of them to be able to sell for this week, except today I noticed that some deer came by and ate about a whole 10 ft. section of some beautiful swiss chard pretty much to the ground, so if they liked it enough to come back for some more, and maybe even bring some friends I could really be in trouble.

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