Growing Vegetables/Soil Test Results


I got a tomato growers test kit and according to the directions my soil had a 7.0 (neutral) P.H. level, Nitrogen was very low, Phosphorous was very low, and the Potash was high. My garden is 440 sq. ft. According to the directions I need to add 1/2-1 1/2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. of iron sulfate, 11 oz. per 100 sq.ft. of ammonia sulfate (N 21%), and 17 oz. per 100 sq.ft. of super phosphate (17.5% P205). I've never tried to adjust my soil before. I plan on putting 2 lbs. of iron sulfate, 44 oz. of ammonia sulfate, and 68 oz. of super phosphate to my garden and till it in. Also I had to get Triple super phosphate (0-45-0), any idea of how much of this to substitute for the super phosphate? Any help would be appreciated. I don't want to make it worse than it is now. The kit was a rapitest brand. Thank you for your time, Joe. P.S. I grow a lot of tomatoes, some green beans, cucumbers, and bell peppers which get a brown leathery growth on them. I can't really rotate anything because of space limitations. Thanks again, look forward to hearing from somebody who knows what their doing. Thank you.

Joe, rather than attempting to purchase separate supplements to balance the elements, add a 12-12-12 balanced fertilizer to the soil for a quick fix. I would also purchase some aged manure and add it to the soil. This will raise the nitrogen and phosphate levels, and maintain the potassium and pH levels.

Going forward, you need to supplement the soil with organic matter. Soil is the key to a successful garden and healthy plants. Supplements would include compost, peat moss, shredded leaves, aged manure, and grass clippings. You can also purchase organic matter from any landscape company or garden center. Compost provides all the benefits needed for proper soil maintenance and plant health.  It also keeps the soil composition friable for easy gardening.

Finally, make sure you mulch your plants with organic matter. I use shredded leaves, but peat moss works well, also.  The mulch will keep the soil temperature constant, and will also serve as compost as it gradually breaks down.

I hope this information helps.  Please write again if I can ever provide assistance.



Growing Vegetables

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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.

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