AG-USA



Conquer Nature By Cooperating With It
 

 

GARDENING IN POOR SOIL

What are your options if your soil isn't very rich?  Here are some examples of poor soils.

1.  Compacted soil.

This soil doesn't absorb rain well, and has very little airflow down into the soil.
 

2.  Clay soil.

For one reason or another, the top soil has been stripped away, leaving just clay.  You need a lot of help.
 

3.  Sandy soil.

For very sandy soils, if you don't have good organic content to hold onto nutrients, fertilizers can be flushed away with a good rain.
 

4.  Soil low in organic matter.

The long-term use of chemical fertilizers or poor conservation methods can contribute to this condition.
 

5.  Soil damaged by chemicals.

Chemical fertilizers are high in salt that kills microbes in the soil.  Pesticides and herbicides are detrimental to soil life as well.

Of course, your long-term goal is to correct these problems in the soil.  You could till up your soil and add in a ton of compost, either homemade or purchased, such aspeat compost, composted manure, mushroom compost, blood or bone meal, or vermicast (worm castings).  However, this could get quite expensive, and be very labor intensive. Better yet, apply 64 ounces per acre of GroPal Balance A, to balance nutrients in the soil.

Option B  -  Rely heavily on foliar feedings.

Plants have little openings in their leaves, called Stomata.  These open in the evenings when the temperature falls below 80 degrees, and close in the morning, when temperatures rise above 80 degrees, which helps the plant to retain its moisture.  Foliar feedings feed the plant through their Stomata, and are best done when the Stomata are open.

 

An Intensive Fertility Program for Poor Soils

I planted a garden in an area with very poor soil.  This is what I did to overcome this problem.

1.  Organic matter.  I used a garden tiller to break up the top 5 or 6 inches of soil. In areas that were totally red clay I mixed in a little mushroom compost and cow manure compost to add organic matter.  I didn't add a lot of this because of cost.  If money was no object a 1 part compost to 2 parts soil works well.

2.  Calcium.  Since the soil was so poor, I mixed in 100 pounds of High Cal. lime per 1,000 sq. ft.  A standard application is 40 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.  Better yet, apply half an ounce per 1,000 square feet of GroPal Balance A, to help free up calcium that is already in the soil.

3.  At planting.  Next I used a garden rake to form the soil into raised beds or rows, depending on the crop.  I mixed 3 ounces of Huma-Tec and 1 ounce of Ocean Trace with a gallon of water, and used this as a planting solution.  However, today I would simply apply the GroPal Balance A, which contains humic acids, ocean minerals, plus a host of other nutrients.

For each seed planted, close the hole, than pour an ounce of a gallon mix which contains an ounce of GroPal Balance A.  Where the soil was just clay, I put 2 ounces over each seed.  This mixture greatly improves germination, and gives the plant a good start.

4.  Pre-emergence If you have not already done so, apply 1/2 ounce of GroPal Balance per 1,000 sq. ft. I like to put mine into a watering can, putting in enough water to wet the soil.

5.  Two weeks after the plants emerged from the soil, add 2 tsp. of GroPal Balance C per gallon of water, then use a spray bottle or back pack sprayer to wet the leaves.  This application helps the plant to establish a wonderful root structure and to become more robust.  It has been said that, all else being equal, a plant's yield is pretty much determined in the first 21 days after emerging from the soil, so this is an important application.  For great results, I repeated this application every 2 or 3 weeks.  A hose end sprayer will not work because it adds too much water.

Even though your soil may be poor, don't be surprised if you have the best tasting and most nutritious garden ever. Bon Appetit.

 

A Fertility Program for Better Soils

 

Perhaps you have half-way decent soil, but want to boost your garden's nutrient density and yields.

 

1.  Calcium. Apply the 1/2 ounce of GroPal Balance A per 1,000 square feet to help make the calcium in the soil available to the plant.

2.  Organic matter.  Mix some rich organic compounds into the soil.  Examples are mushroom compost, cow manure compost,  bat guano, vermicast, or your own homemade compost.

3.  At planting.  If you want to really get the plant established, consider mixing 1 ounce of GroPal Balance A with a gallon of water, and pour an ounce over each seed planted.  
To make a transplanting solution, mix an ounce of GroPal Balance A per gallon of water, and pour a little into each hole for transplanted plants.

4.  Foliar applications can make such a difference in the quality of what you are growing.  You may choose to make foliar applications once or twice a month, or to decrease the amount in the application and "spoon feed" the plant with trace minerals more often. 

For these foliar applications you may choose to use a back pack sprayer or a spray bottle, for small areas. For weekly feedings, add 2 tsp. of GroPal Balance C per gallon of water, and wet the leaves. 

If you want to apply a foliar application less than once every 2 weeks, then use 3 or 4 tsp. GroPal Balance C per gallon of water for each application.

Remember, this application is best made in the morning before 10 a.m.  It can also be made in the evening after it cools off  (the stomata are open when the air temperature is below 80 degrees).

 

Recommended applications for Great Soils

You have worked hard to build up your soil, and it is in great shape.  Congratulations, and good job!  In all likelihood the preceding points 4 and 5 would still be quite helpful. 

Of greatest importance is to make one or more foliar applications of GroPal Balance C, rich in concentrated sea minerals. This product is incredible for the wonderful balance and density of micronutrients it supplies to both plants and soil.