Soil Composition & Ferterlizers<br />Northridge Garden Guild<br />June 29, 2010<br />Materials are a condensed version of ...
Soil Composition<br />Jerry L. Goodspeed<br />Utah State University Extension<br />
USDA NRCS<br />Soil – what’s in it?<br />
Why is soil important?<br />Like humans, plants thrive in a healthy environment<br />Good soil provides nutrients, oxygen ...
Components of Soil (by volume)<br />(Transpiration<br />and nutrient transport)<br />(Primary soil particles<br />and nutr...
Different soil profiles<br />What does your soil look like? <br />
Topsoil-subsoil Characteristics<br />-high organic matter<br />-low salts<br />-high nutrients<br />“Topsoil”<br />-low or...
Individual Soil Properties<br />
Soil Texture<br />The Percentage of sand, silt and clay in the soil<br />
The Effect of Particle Size<br />Sand particles<br />Clay particles<br />Air flow<br />Water flow<br />
Determining Soil Texture<br />By feel<br />Soil test<br />jar method<br />Fill a 1-quart jar ¼ full of soil<br />Fill the ...
Clay<br />Silt<br />Sand<br />
Texture Effects on Soil’s Physical Properties<br />Textureavailable waterAerationDrainageCompaction<br />Sand<br />Loam<br...
Treating Soil Texture “Problems”<br />Too much sand?<br />You are lucky<br />Adjust irrigation accordingly<br />Select dro...
Introduction of Organic Matter<br />The combination of sand, silt and clay  combined with organic matter creates secondary...
Compaction<br />Destroys soil structure<br />Seals off soil surface<br />Water runs off instead of into soil – drought res...
Soil Compaction<br />
Preventing Compaction<br />Grates, bricks, sidewalks in high-use areas<br />
Treating compaction<br />Eliminate the cause:<br />Fence, hedge, signs<br />Add organic matter to soil<br />Aerate or till...
Aeration<br />Hollow Tine Aerator<br />“Instant air spaces” for water and oxygen <br />movement into the plant root zone<b...
Soil Drainage<br />
Poor Drainage Problem<br />Prevent compaction?<br />Add organic matter<br />Install subsurface drainage system <br />Provi...
Excessive Drainage Problem<br />Very sandy soil<br />Consider sunken beds<br />Add extra organic matter<br />Precise water...
Amending Soil with Organic Matter<br />Benefits:<br />Improves drainage<br />Improves water-holding capacity<br />Reduces ...
How much organic matter should I add?<br />How much is already there?<br />Native Utah soils ~ 0.25 to 2.0%<br />Ideal soi...
Adding/Preserving Organic Matter<br />Grow plants<br />Mulch around perennials<br />Add extra organic matter to gardens an...
Sources of Organic Matter<br />Wood Residues<br />Chips/sawdust/bark materials <br />Add 1  to 2 lbs of nitrogen per 100 l...
Summary <br />Understand what you have<br />Figure out what you need<br />Texture<br />Compaction<br />Drainage<br />
Fertilizers<br />Basic Master Gardener<br /> Training<br />Jerry L. Goodspeed<br />Utah State University<br />Extension<br />
16 Essential nutrients<br />Macronutrients (large quantities):<br />oxygennitrogen		phosphorus<br />hydrogenpotassium		sul...
Sources of nutrients<br />Inorganic/Synthetic fertilizers<br />Organic Fertilizers<br />Manures composts, and other organi...
Fertilizer label <br />Three numbers always appear on the label<br />	1.	% Nitrogen  (N)<br />	2.	% Phosphorus (P)<br />	3...
Just A few N-P-K labels out there<br />34-0-0<br />21-0-0<br />29-3-4<br />26-3-3<br />28-4-4<br />25-3-5<br />20-2-4<br /...
Selecting a fertilizer<br />What nutrients are needed?<br />Soil test<br />What ratio of nutrients are needed?<br />Nitrog...
Soil testing<br />
Soil testing…<br />…prior to planting:  ensures good success – especially in new landscapes<br />…diagnose problems<br />…...
Soil sampling<br />Sample areas with different soils<br />6-inch depth in turf<br />12-inch depth around woody vegetation ...
Soil Test Report<br />
Methods of application<br />Broadcast – evenly distributed on surface<br />Banding – applied in a narrow band on surface o...
Spreaders<br />
Organic nutrient sources<br />Much lower concentration of nutrients<br />Example: 2-2-2 for composts<br />Good sources of ...
Green manures<br />Plants grown for the sole purpose of “storing” nutrients or producing nutrients (nitrogen) and organic ...
Other considerations<br />Combine inorganic and organic nutrients <br />Practice crop rotation in garden<br />Return as mu...
Soil pH and Iron Chlorosis<br />
Soil pH<br />Soil pH: the degree of acidity or alkalinity of soil<br />The pH scale:<br />		  2	  4	   6	    8	     10		12...
Causes of iron chlorosis<br />High lime soils <br />Buffer pH in 7.8-8.0+ range<br />Planting acid-loving plants in Utah<b...
Major pH problem:iron chlorosis<br />
Solutions to iron chlorosis problem<br />Select iron efficient plants<br />Treat with iron<br />Change soil pH?<br />
pH tolerant = iron efficient plants<br />
Soil salinity<br />
Soil salinity = soluble salts in soil<br />Salts inhibit plant growth<br />Salts cause “chemical drought” <br />Visual dia...
Examples<br />
Sources of salts<br />Residual salts in new development areas<br />Irrigation water<br />natural sources<br />water soften...
Solutions to salt problems<br />Control the source:<br />water, fertilizer, manure runoff, other?<br />Clean up the proble...
Mg soil   ferterlizer
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Mg soil ferterlizer

  1. 1. Soil Composition & Ferterlizers<br />Northridge Garden Guild<br />June 29, 2010<br />Materials are a condensed version of information provided by the USU extension service<br />
  2. 2. Soil Composition<br />Jerry L. Goodspeed<br />Utah State University Extension<br />
  3. 3. USDA NRCS<br />Soil – what’s in it?<br />
  4. 4. Why is soil important?<br />Like humans, plants thrive in a healthy environment<br />Good soil provides nutrients, oxygen and water to plants without stress<br />Weak plants are more susceptible to disease and insects<br />
  5. 5. Components of Soil (by volume)<br />(Transpiration<br />and nutrient transport)<br />(Primary soil particles<br />and nutrients for plants)<br />(Soil structure and<br />nutrients for plants)<br />(Oxygen to roots)<br />
  6. 6. Different soil profiles<br />What does your soil look like? <br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9. Topsoil-subsoil Characteristics<br />-high organic matter<br />-low salts<br />-high nutrients<br />“Topsoil”<br />-low organic matter<br />-high clay and/<br /> or lime<br />-high salts<br />-high pH<br />“Subsoil”<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Individual Soil Properties<br />
  12. 12. Soil Texture<br />The Percentage of sand, silt and clay in the soil<br />
  13. 13. The Effect of Particle Size<br />Sand particles<br />Clay particles<br />Air flow<br />Water flow<br />
  14. 14. Determining Soil Texture<br />By feel<br />Soil test<br />jar method<br />Fill a 1-quart jar ¼ full of soil<br />Fill the jar ¾ full of water<br />Shake very well to suspend soil<br />Place on a flat surface and allow soil to settle<br />
  15. 15. Clay<br />Silt<br />Sand<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Texture Effects on Soil’s Physical Properties<br />Textureavailable waterAerationDrainageCompaction<br />Sand<br />Loam<br />Silt loam<br />Clay loam<br />Clay<br />
  18. 18. Treating Soil Texture “Problems”<br />Too much sand?<br />You are lucky<br />Adjust irrigation accordingly<br />Select drought tolerant plants<br />Too much clay?<br />Good luck!<br />Select plants tolerant of poor drainage, lack of oxygen<br />Either case: induce soil structure<br />
  19. 19. Introduction of Organic Matter<br />The combination of sand, silt and clay combined with organic matter creates secondary particles called aggregates<br />
  20. 20. Compaction<br />Destroys soil structure<br />Seals off soil surface<br />Water runs off instead of into soil – drought results<br />Air can’t enter or escape soil - <br /> suffocation<br />Roots can’t penetrate the soil<br />Stress – plants die<br />
  21. 21. Soil Compaction<br />
  22. 22. Preventing Compaction<br />Grates, bricks, sidewalks in high-use areas<br />
  23. 23. Treating compaction<br />Eliminate the cause:<br />Fence, hedge, signs<br />Add organic matter to soil<br />Aerate or till the soil<br />
  24. 24. Aeration<br />Hollow Tine Aerator<br />“Instant air spaces” for water and oxygen <br />movement into the plant root zone<br />
  25. 25. Soil Drainage<br />
  26. 26. Poor Drainage Problem<br />Prevent compaction?<br />Add organic matter<br />Install subsurface drainage system <br />Provide drainage ditches<br />Develop raised beds<br />Use precise water management<br />
  27. 27. Excessive Drainage Problem<br />Very sandy soil<br />Consider sunken beds<br />Add extra organic matter<br />Precise water management<br />
  28. 28. Amending Soil with Organic Matter<br />Benefits:<br />Improves drainage<br />Improves water-holding capacity<br />Reduces compaction<br />Provides nutrients to plants<br />Improves soil “tilth” <br /> (ease of tillage, working with a soil)<br />Lowers soil pH<br />
  29. 29. How much organic matter should I add?<br />How much is already there?<br />Native Utah soils ~ 0.25 to 2.0%<br />Ideal soils 5-10%<br />Are you satisfied with the current condition of your soil?<br />Add some organic matter to maintain soil conditions<br />Should I add sand to my clay soil?<br />
  30. 30. Adding/Preserving Organic Matter<br />Grow plants<br />Mulch around perennials<br />Add extra organic matter to gardens and other annual planting areas<br />
  31. 31. Sources of Organic Matter<br />Wood Residues<br />Chips/sawdust/bark materials <br />Add 1 to 2 lbs of nitrogen per 100 lbs of material<br />Grass clippings or green residues<br />Can’t go wrong with these<br />Allow to dry<br />Composts and animal manure<br /><ul><li>Watch for salts and weed seeds</li></li></ul><li>How much Organic Matter Should I add?<br />Single application<br />One inch per year for normal applications in annual areas(new site needs significant improvement)<br />1 inch of material = 3 cubic yards spread over a 1,000 square foot area<br />
  32. 32. Summary <br />Understand what you have<br />Figure out what you need<br />Texture<br />Compaction<br />Drainage<br />
  33. 33. Fertilizers<br />Basic Master Gardener<br /> Training<br />Jerry L. Goodspeed<br />Utah State University<br />Extension<br />
  34. 34. 16 Essential nutrients<br />Macronutrients (large quantities):<br />oxygennitrogen phosphorus<br />hydrogenpotassium sulfur<br />carbon calcium magnesium<br />Micronutrients (small quantities): <br />zinciron<br /> copper manganese<br /> chlorine molybdenum<br /> boron <br /> nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium <br />
  35. 35. Sources of nutrients<br />Inorganic/Synthetic fertilizers<br />Organic Fertilizers<br />Manures composts, and other organic materials<br />Green manures (legumes and others)<br />
  36. 36. Fertilizer label <br />Three numbers always appear on the label<br /> 1. % Nitrogen (N)<br /> 2. % Phosphorus (P)<br /> 3. % Potassium (K) <br />
  37. 37. Just A few N-P-K labels out there<br />34-0-0<br />21-0-0<br />29-3-4<br />26-3-3<br />28-4-4<br />25-3-5<br />20-2-4<br />26-3-3<br />25-3-5<br />32-3-5<br />24-6-12<br />16-4-8<br />16-16-16<br />12-12-12<br />22-4-11<br />22-4-14<br />20-27-5<br />18-5-9<br />5-10-10<br />9-17-9<br />
  38. 38. Selecting a fertilizer<br />What nutrients are needed?<br />Soil test<br />What ratio of nutrients are needed?<br />Nitrogen alone or a “complete” fertilizer?<br />Established landscapes need nitrogen annually; few landscapes need other nutrients<br />Are extras needed?<br />cost factor: extras increase cost<br />
  39. 39. Soil testing<br />
  40. 40. Soil testing…<br />…prior to planting: ensures good success – especially in new landscapes<br />…diagnose problems<br />…every 2 to 3 years to monitor soil environment<br />
  41. 41. Soil sampling<br />Sample areas with different soils<br />6-inch depth in turf<br />12-inch depth around woody vegetation and in gardens<br />Combine 4 to 6 sub-samples from the area for each sample submitted<br />
  42. 42. Soil Test Report<br />
  43. 43. Methods of application<br />Broadcast – evenly distributed on surface<br />Banding – applied in a narrow band on surface or in furrow opened adjacent to plant row<br />Foliar – applied in liquid form<br />
  44. 44. Spreaders<br />
  45. 45. Organic nutrient sources<br />Much lower concentration of nutrients<br />Example: 2-2-2 for composts<br />Good sources of organic matter<br />May need to supplement with inorganic nitrogen fertilizer<br />
  46. 46. Green manures<br />Plants grown for the sole purpose of “storing” nutrients or producing nutrients (nitrogen) and organic matter for later use in the garden<br />Examples:<br />Legumes (peas, beans, vetch, alfalfa)<br />Small grains (rye, oats, barley, wheat)<br />
  47. 47. Other considerations<br />Combine inorganic and organic nutrients <br />Practice crop rotation in garden<br />Return as much organic matter as possible to annual planting areas<br />
  48. 48. Soil pH and Iron Chlorosis<br />
  49. 49. Soil pH<br />Soil pH: the degree of acidity or alkalinity of soil<br />The pH scale:<br /> 2 4 6 8 10 12<br />Neutral<br /> (7.0)<br />acidic<br />alkaline<br />
  50. 50. Causes of iron chlorosis<br />High lime soils <br />Buffer pH in 7.8-8.0+ range<br />Planting acid-loving plants in Utah<br />“Aggravating factors”<br />Cold soils<br />Over-irrigation<br />Soil compaction<br />Over-fertilization<br />Other stresses<br />
  51. 51. Major pH problem:iron chlorosis<br />
  52. 52. Solutions to iron chlorosis problem<br />Select iron efficient plants<br />Treat with iron<br />Change soil pH?<br />
  53. 53. pH tolerant = iron efficient plants<br />
  54. 54. Soil salinity<br />
  55. 55. Soil salinity = soluble salts in soil<br />Salts inhibit plant growth<br />Salts cause “chemical drought” <br />Visual diagnosis: salt crusting/salt burn<br />Soil test diagnosis:<br />Electrical conductivity (EC) <br />EC > 2 deciSiemens/meter is a saline soil for horticulture uses<br />
  56. 56. Examples<br />
  57. 57. Sources of salts<br />Residual salts in new development areas<br />Irrigation water<br />natural sources<br />water softeners<br />Deicing salts (road throw and sidewalks)<br />Over-application of fertilizers and/or manures and composts<br />
  58. 58. Solutions to salt problems<br />Control the source:<br />water, fertilizer, manure runoff, other?<br />Clean up the problem:<br />Remove salts by leaching with water<br />
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