Beyond "Dirt" - Garden Soil and Amendments

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Readying the soil for spring-summer planting is one of the most important tasks gardeners face at this point in the year. But what is soil made of, and what does it need to benefit the plants we want to grow? This class will provide an overview of soil types and basic soil ecology, give gardeners tools for assessing their soils, and provide suggestions on when and how to use various soil amendments.

Transcript of Beyond "Dirt" - Garden Soil and Amendments

  • 1. January 2012 Independence Gardens LLC Download the handout that goes along with this slideshow! h p://bit.ly/y4K4ru Garden Soil & Amendments Independence Gardens Portland, ORTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 2. What Well Cover Today Preview Got Questions? Topics Well Cover What is soil? Please ask as we go along. Soil issues worldwide Soil issues in your garden Soil components pH Nutrients Soil testing AmendmentsTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 3. What is soil? http:// Soil is an edge www.extension.um n.edu/distribution/ Microorganisms + minerals cropsystems/ images/ M1272-4.jpg Soil is the basis of a diverse ecosystem Broader base more room for http://www.hylandseeds.com/images/ everything else Soil is a process soil%20photo.jpg Anything but static! Soil is a relationship Between components, conditions, inhabitants, and YOUTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 4. Soil worldwide http://www.utafoundation.org/soil_loss.jpgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 5. Soil in your garden Top 6-8 in. http://www.gardenvisit.com/assets/madge/shovel/600x/ Where plants do most of their feeding You can look for Structure Texture pH Nutrient presence/availability Organic ma er shovel_600x.jpg Biological activity A single acre of good soil can support 2000 lbs. of animal life above the soil surface and 4000-6000 lbs. below (microherds)Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 6. Soil components Mineral components and organic ma er = solid Air and water = space Soil microorganisms live in this part of the soil, and they are what make nutrients available to plants http://courses.soil.ncsu.edu/resources/physics/ composition/compo3b.pngTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 7. Soil particles Clay Less than 0.002 mm Silt 0.002 mm 0.05 mm Sand 0.05 mm 2.00 mm Fine pebbles 2.00 mm 5.00 mm Medium pebbles 5.00 mm 20.00 mm http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/soil/ Coarse pebbles images/particle_sizes1.gif 20.00 mm 75.00 mmTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 8. Soil layers O (organic) A (assimilation) E (elluviation) B (banking) C (chemical/ constitution) R/D (durable) http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/ vfss_manual/vfssman37f1.pngTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 9. Soil types Not just dirt Dirt is soil where its not supposed to be Loam is ideal for garden soil 40% silt 40% sand 20% clay http://www.dirtguytopsoil.com/images/soiltriangle.gifTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 10. Soil food web is is who/what shares your soil with your plants http://www.magicsoil.com/MSREV2/Soil_Food_Web_Soil_Biology_Primer.jpgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 11. pH Logarithmic scale, 0 (acid)-14 (base) http://packerpedia.wiki.packer.edu/file/view/pH_Scale.jpg/31722773/pH_Scale.jpgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 12. Nutrient availability Soil nutrient supermarket Our soils are generally ~5.5 Ideal garden soil is 6.8-7.0 Other factors aecting availability include: Soil texture Soil temperature Amount of organic ma er Microbial activity Interactions with other nutrients Competition for sites on soil particles Forming insoluble compounds http://attra.ncat.org/images/organic_soil/chart.jpgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 13. Nutrient availability Soil nutrient supermarket Our soils are generally ~5.5 Ideal garden soil is 6.8-7.0 Other factors aecting availability include: Soil texture Soil temperature Amount of organic ma er Microbial activity Interactions with other nutrients Competition for sites on soil particles Forming insoluble compounds http://attra.ncat.org/images/organic_soil/chart.jpgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 14. Nutrient availability Soil nutrient supermarket Our soils are generally ~5.5 Ideal garden soil is 6.8-7.0 Other factors aecting availability include: Soil texture Soil temperature Amount of organic ma er Microbial activity Interactions with other nutrients Competition for sites on soil particles Forming insoluble compounds http://attra.ncat.org/images/organic_soil/chart.jpgTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 15. NutrientsTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 16. Essential plant nutrients From air and water Carbon (C) Hydrogen (H) Oxygen (O) Macronutrients Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) Potassium (K) Secondary macronutrients Sulfur (S) Calcium (Ca) Magnesium (Mg) Micronutrients Boron (B) Chlorine (Cl) Copper (Cu) Iron (Fe) Manganese (Mn) Molybdenum (Mo) Zinc (Zn)Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 17. How to learn more Shake test Layer Away Perc test Watering test pH test Soil test Weed observation Bugs eye viewTuesday, January 31, 2012
  • 18. Soil testing: Do it...if: Nutrient testing http://www.thegardenerseden.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Soil- You plan t