Results of soil test. What do I do now?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by xman, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. xman

    xman Active Member

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    Plano TX USA

    A nursery near my home was offering free soil tests, so I turned in a couple of samples of soil from my containers. The soil consists of 4 parts fine pine bark, 1 part turface, 1 part expanded shale, 1/2 part grit and 1/2 part peat. All my maples were repotted in this mixture last year in feb, did not show much growth last year, but last year heat in TX was brutal. No fertilizer except some fish/seaweed in summer and some 0-10-10 in fall.
    The results of both samples were the same since they were the same mix

    pH - 7.0
    Nitrates - poor
    Phosphorus - medium
    Potassium - low
    Calcium - medium
    Iron - low
    Manganese - low
    Zinc - poor

    Pretty crappy soil mix if I say so myself, considering all the effort I put in to sieve and measure each component, getting rid of fines etc.
    Now I am thinking of using a 20-20-20 Miracle gro liquid fertilizer at half strength in early spring to give the soil a boost.

    Any suggestions based on the above results profile? What are the components I need to fix for maples? e.g do I need to reduce the ph a little? how do I do that?

    thanks for any help,
  2. TexCedar

    TexCedar Member

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    Texas, United States
    The Ph of your mix, especially in light of the fact that it sounds very well drained should be fine. Since nitrogen is most lacking how about a diluted application of a realtively high N fertilzer. I wouldn't use miracle gro. try to find something with ammonium nitrogen source (as opposed to nitrate or urea, urea being the worst) Maybe Dyna-Gro Foliage pro. Container plants, especially ones in what sounds like a bonsai soil mix, are not going to have lots of micronutrients, they leech out. You will need to apply them periodically. I would not be so disheartened.

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