soil test

Well happy day.

I mentioned a few posts back that I had ignorantly been dumping wood stove ashes on my garden, thinking that they would provide concentrated nutrients for my soil.  They were natural, what harm could there be?  And then the Extension agent talked to me about the soil sample I had sent in, and it turned out that my assumption was wrong.  Too many ashes aren’t good for the soil, just like too much manure.  My soil tested pretty alkaline.

I spent a while actually researching what to do to organically lower soil pH and found that elemental sulfur would be my best bet.  So at the end of the season this year, I added the recommended amount of sulfur.

Yesterday I completed a home soil test.  It shouldn’t have made me so happy, but I’m simple.  The pH reading was in the neutral range.  I know most vegetables like a slightly acidic soil, but I’ll take neutral.

soil test

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3 thoughts on “soil test

  1. My other question about wood ashes would be if the wood had been treated with any chemicals. For instance, old landscape timbers or railroad ties are likely to contain noxious chemicals. If your Ag Agent thinks the chemicals are not dangerous, you could just add the ashes to your compost and mix it in with all the rest.

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    • I like your idea about adding the ashes to the compost, Deby, and I did consider that. But I haven’t been able to find any info about whether that would affect the compost’s pH too. I’m still a little paranoid about all alkalization of the soil, and I’m not sure whether composting neutralizes that. Thanks for getting me thinking again!

      And no, there are no chemicals in the ashes. It’s all cut from deadwood in the woods around our property.

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