Soil Amendments

Amending New Veggie Garden’s Soil


awhilton added on October 15, 2016 | Answered

I took a home soil test and my soil has a pH of 5, so it's pretty acidic. The potassium level is on the high end, but the nitrogen is extremely low and the phosphorous level is low. What should I add to it this fall so that it will be ready for planting in the spring? I live in Massachusetts. I have just rototilled the plot. It is 300 sf. It is also brand new. I would like to use organic amendments. I saw wood ash is good for bringing the pH up - and I have three fireplaces so I have a source! But I also read that it brings up the potassium level which is also really high. So maybe that's a bad idea. What do you suggest I do? I am not far from a beach - would seaweed help somehow? I added a little chicken poop I bought in a bag.


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ANSWERS
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 16, 2016

Lime is the most traditional option for raising soil pH, and it would be preferred over wood ash in your situation because lime doesn't contain potassium:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/adding-lime-to-soil.htm

The two most common types of lime are allowed in organic farming/gardening, but slaked lime and burnt lime are not considered organic:
http://organicgrowersschool.org/1027/ask-ruth-types-of-lime-how-to-use-them/

Seaweed does help with soil fertility and is great for plants:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-seaweed.htm

This article discusses organic options for adding nitrogen:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/nitrogen-plant-fertilizer.htm

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