Comments On - Building Super Soil

Balancing magnesium and calcium is the most crucial part of healthy soil. TCEC, total cation exchange capacity, is the most important measure from a soil test to balance soil. Adding organic matter means nothing if key elemental relationships are not balanced...it's like the author of this article really doesn't know how to balance soil or what the target of healthy soil is...because it's not organic matter percentage that's going to make nutrient dense food. I suggest Steve Solomons "The Intelligent Gardner" as an intro to soil health.
Dhoolahan, Woodinville, WA
Posted: 9/7/2015 11:19:14 PM
One way to tell if soil has a high clay component is to rub a clump of the soil against something metal. If there is a lot of clay, the clump will look shiny.
Kari, Georgetown, ON
Posted: 3/21/2015 6:30:00 AM
I have a Ph meter that I use for wine making. How do I create a soil sample that I can use my Ph meter? Always there is a recommendation to test Ph but no "home" method.
Geno, Aurora, CO
Posted: 12/9/2014 12:30:25 PM
I found the article disappointing. I would disagree that the practice of regularly adding quality organic matter may eliminate the need for additional fertilizers. This is vague advice and could be quite harmful. Not all compost is created equal and you don't need high organic matter to grow healthy crops. Lastly the DIY soil tests are not accurate at all in my experience and a waste of money. "Super soil" has a connotation associated with container plants, where all the mineral/nutrient content is included in the media and nothing but water is needed for the life of your crop. I agree that soil is the most important variable in growing healthy plants.
Tad, Redmond, WA
Posted: 9/25/2014 12:04:09 PM
Disappointed, didn't give ways to improve soil. Looking forward to seeing that in the article.
Susan, Sallisaw, OK
Posted: 9/25/2014 8:59:47 AM
Both Eliot Coleman and Joel Salatin discuss ways to build soil. Salatin (of Polyface Farms) talks about "grass farming," a way of rotating animals across a field to build the soil, hence quality of grass. That can be adapted even to backyards. Coleman (several books on organic farming) talks about farming practices that build soil over 7 years or so, to produce highly nutritious, disease-resistant crops with minimum weed problems.
Terry, Plymouth, VT
Posted: 1/10/2014 2:16:07 PM
I've always wondered how accurate those DIY soil testing kits are.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 6/8/2013 12:50:49 PM
I had to go back and check to see if there was a page missing. I didn't see any discussion of how to determine what sort of amendments are proper for building soil and in what circumstances. The article seemed incomplete to me. Maybe I didn't get all of it, but it looks like I did.
Sidney, Colorado Springs, CO
Posted: 8/28/2012 9:37:57 PM
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