Gardening in the City: Soil Preparation
Last month we discussed soil health and products we can use to improve its health. The use of good fertilizer, bio-inoculants, humates, and soil amendments are the basis for good gardening, whether in the city or in commercial agricultural practice. This month lets talk about soil preparation. To begin, it is really necessary to check the pH of your soil. This can be done in one of two ways.
First, you can send a soil sample to your county agriculture extension office for a soil test. This test will describe the levels of the various minerals in your soil and will tell you whether your levels are in the high or low range. If a mineral is in the high range, you would not add any more of that mineral to your soil. If its in the low range, then you would add more of that mineral to balance the soil. They will also give you a pH reading, which will tell you if your soil is acidic or alkaline. You want a pH reading in the neutral zone somewhere between 5.5 & 6.5 on the pH scale.
The second way to measure pH is with a pH meter. Simply insert the probe into your soil, and the meter will register a reading in a few seconds. It will give you a number on the scale from one to nine which is your pH level. With this knowledge you can then adjust your pH with amendments such as calcium, sulfur, or limestone to reach a neutral level. These meters are very good tools for gardeners for fast testing. Kelway is an excellent brand, and it sells for about $60.00.
These pH meters come with moisture meters as well, so you can easily check the level of moisture in the soil. Many times gardeners overwater, which causes problems with plants. With a moisture meter you take out the guesswork. Kelway pH & Moisture Meters sell for about $110.00, so put one on your wish list.
To help you with soil preparation, I want to introduce a revolutionary soil amendment this month. This products name is ECO-MIN, and it is manufactured by the Martin-Marietta Corp. It is a rock dust powder, a mixture of igneous or volcanic rock which is ground into a powder form, then bonded to a natural plant stimulator. After years of use in Australia, this product is finally available in the United States.
Millions of dollars in research and development by seven land grant universities in the U.S. and Australia have produced this product, which can significantly improve size, color, and nutritional value of almost every plant tested. Texas A&Ms tests of ECO-MIN using San Augustine grass have shown significant improvement in soil health and dramatic increases in weight, height, and thickness. Other universities have tested corn, soybeans, lettuce, and Loblolly pine trees, which are all major cash crops in commercial agriculture. With ECO-MIN all had significant improvements.
ECO-MIN contains over 60 minerals. This is especially important in food crops because of the lack of minerals in our agricultural soils. ECO-MIN stimulates the growth of micro-organisms, increases nutrient uptake, assists in restoring pH balance, and increases water storage capacities of the soil.
These and other benefits of ECO-MIN make it a valuable tool to improve our gardens and the nutritional value of our foods.
Commercial agriculture, take note. This product will be of significance to your bottom line profits. West Texas, this product can reduce your need for crop irrigation. Let your friends and family in agriculture know about this product. It is one of the tools we have that will save the planet.Home | Archives | Contact Us | Advertising Rates | Writers Guidelines | Mission Statement
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