Amount of fertilizer

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I have a small garden approximately 1000 sq/ft that I grow tomatoes, peppers,melons, cucumbers, okra and some other smaller vegetables. I just did a rapitest soil test in random areas around it and found that my nitrogen and phosphorus are extremely low to non-existent. I know I can use bone and blood meal to increase these but I'm not sure how much to use. The Instructions that came with the test kit are hard to understand when it comes to that.

My pH is extremely high also so what would be the best way to lower it and how much would I need to use to drop it. The test only goes to 7.5 and it was at least that if not higher. I would think I would need to drop it at least 0.5 to 1.0

Any information in this area would be greatly appreciated.
 
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If you can get a small truckload (5 cubic yards) of aged chicken manure and wheelbarrow it onto the beds now. It would probably supply phosphate and nitrogen and lower the pH all in one move.
To make sure you would do well to plant a green manure crop and fork the crop into the manure topping in spring before planting in summer. The schedule is tight but prepare one area at a time and so stage the plantings.
 

Meadowlark

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Excellent, excellent advice from @redback above.

You want to get that ph down around 6.5 for the veggies you mentioned. Follow up on @redback advice with a legume cover crop after the summer crops are done...e.g. clovers, winter rye, vetch, etc. and you will be well on your way to great soil next spring.
 
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If you can get a small truckload (5 cubic yards) of aged chicken manure and wheelbarrow it onto the beds now. It would probably supply phosphate and nitrogen and lower the pH all in one move.
To make sure you would do well to plant a green manure crop and fork the crop into the manure topping in spring before planting in summer. The schedule is tight but prepare one area at a time and so stage the plantings.
Thanks for the info. Only problem is I'm not sure where I can get any of that anywhere near my area. Is there another option? What about bone meal and blood meal?

I'm at least 10-12 weeks before planting. Any earlier here would be plant suicide.

Something else I forgot to mention is that I also need to make the ground softer. It has a lot of clay and doesn't drain like it should. It is not completely clay but a good amount.
 

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Is there another option? What about bone meal and blood meal?
The phosphate usually comes from bird droppings. Blood and bone is good and only lacks potash. You will pay more for a bagged product, but it is a lot tidier because the truck dumps its load on the driveway whereas bags can be carted in the boot of a car.
You might just plant a pea crop in that alkaline soil and when you fork it in at 6" high you will get nitrogen, friability, granulation of soil and better water holding capacity as well as improved drainage. If you want to stay organic, phosphate is available as rock phosphate dust or guano. The inorganic phosphate is readily available but not cheap nor my favorite.
Sulphate of potash will acidify the soil and improve flowering and fruiting.
 
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In order to add 50 lbs/acre of N, you will need 8.2 lbs of blood meal per 1,000 ft2.
 
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There must be thousands of places to get chicken manure in Ky.

- Home (charliescompost.com)

Kentucky Local & Organic Manure & Compost Directory - Farmer's Pal (farmerspal.com)

Many people will give it away if you will haul it off.

Adding composted manure regularly over time along with the cover crops recommended will solve your clay problem also.
I tried finding somewhere close to me that sells this but nothing is showing up within 100 miles. Nothing in the link you sent either. I'm pretty remote where I'm at. Thanks for the info though. Maybe in the future someone local will start selling it.
 
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Thanks YumYum for the info. Any idea on the amount of bone meal or other options for raising phosporus?
Bone meal doesn't want to break down in the soil if the pH is high but you can add 7.65 lbs of bone meal to add 50 lbs/acre of P to 1000 ft2.

Another option (as already stated) if you are staying organic is chicken manure but if you use it, you probably won't need blood or bone meal. If you only use chicken manure, you will need 57 lbs to raise 50 lbs/acre of N per 1000 ft2. Chicken manure can vary a bit on its nutrients depending on what they are fed and how long it's composted for. It is also kind of hard to spread out unless it is dried and powdery/granular looking.

Another thing, those Rapidtest kits are not really that great. The pH part works pretty good and I use that sometimes. I see you are in Kentucky. Is there not a Farmers CO-OP nearby? They can do a real soil test. I would do a complete test if I were you because it will tell you exactly what you need.
 
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Bone meal doesn't want to break down in the soil if the pH is high but you can add 7.65 lbs of bone meal to add 50 lbs/acre of P to 1000 ft2.

Another option (as already stated) if you are staying organic is chicken manure but if you use it, you probably won't need blood or bone meal. If you only use chicken manure, you will need 57 lbs to raise 50 lbs/acre of N per 1000 ft2. Chicken manure can vary a bit on its nutrients depending on what they are fed and how long it's composted for. It is also kind of hard to spread out unless it is dried and powdery/granular looking.

Another thing, those Rapidtest kits are not really that great. The pH part works pretty good and I use that sometimes. I see you are in Kentucky. Is there not a Farmers CO-OP nearby? They can do a real soil test. I would do a complete test if I were you because it will tell you exactly what you need.
Thanks again. Now that you mention it there is an extension office in my area. I'll give them a call and see if they can give me any info about a professional test. It would be more reliable I'd say. Maybe they can tell me where to find the chicken manure too.
 
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You may want to hurry and do it because they send the soil sample off and takes a little time to get the results back, at least here it does.
 

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50 lbs composted no mess, no fuss for just over $50 on Amazon...in case you run out of time and/or can't find any

chicken.jpg
 
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50 lbs composted no mess, no fuss for just over $50 on Amazon...in case you run out of time and/or can't find any

View attachment 101647

That one says 5-3-2 so that is 23 lbs per 1000 ft2 to add 50 lbs/acre N. I see they have 25 lb bags.

That one says 3-2-3 so it would take more. That is why it is hard to be exact with organic stuff. Me, I would use 50 lbs.
 

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