Re: soil tests are essential
I vote with John without reservation!
The original poster had said, btw, that she felt as though she was watering a
great deal, if I remember, and that she was feeding the plants as well. The
description of plants looking like they had been hit by fire sticks in my mind
as well - a certain description to apply to plants that are evidencing fertlizer
burn (they don't call it "burn" for nothing, you know!).
Soil tests are overlooked and underrated by the average gardener much to their
detriment and the detriment of the ecology as well. Over half the nitrate
runoff in California comes from cities - certain evidence that green happy
gardeners are over over-applying N to the extent that they are playing havouc
with the eco-systems down stream from them. It seems to me, that a simple soil
test (out here it's more like $35 - the state doesn't provide them at low or no
cost) saves money over the long haul... even at $35.
Gardening without a soil test is like driving without a map. We all _used_ to
be able to know the territory without a map by knowing which weeds identified
shortages in plant nutrition, but today, even that knowledge doesn't replace a
soil test. That knowledge was the culmination of what you needed to know to
competently understand your soil until we poisoned it. Now, even that knowledge
is not enough and I doubt sincerely that the majority of gardeners on this list
know even that.
Stop screwing around. Get a soil test. We thank you. The earth thanks you.
Your children thank you. My children thank you.
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