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23 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What are some indicators of a poorly drained soil
when the soil feels sticky or has a bluish-gray flecks in it
What are the names of tests used to test the condition of the soil yourself
1)the squeeze test 2)the perc test 3) the weed test 4) the earthworm test
What does the squeeze test determine?
the texture of your soil, the relative amounts of sand, silt and clay. Sands feel gritty, silt feels like a moist talcum powder, and clay feels slippery. If the soil remains in a ball, it has too much clay in it, and if it crumbles it is considered the ideal soil for plant growth.
What is the perc test?
Assess how quickly water drains through your soil. You simply dig a hole in your garden 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide, fill it full of water and allow the water to drain again. Repeat, and see how long it takes to drain. If more than 2 hours, too much clay
What is the weed test?
Visual observation of the types of weeds growing in your vegetable growing area can give you many clues about the soil condition. Soil with a crust or hardpan have horsenettle, morning glory, quackgrass, field mustard and penny cress.
What is the earthworm test?
Record of the earthworm population in a given volume of soil. Soil taken from a hole 1 foot across and 1 foot deep with at least 10 earthworms is good
What are some methods of testing the soil pH yourself?
1)portable pH meter 2)litmus paper test 3)plant indicator test
How is the pH determined after having dipped a portion of litmus in a dish slurry made from your 1:1 ratio of soil and distilled water?
By matching the dipped litmus paper change of color to the chart that comes with the litmus test kit. Each color on the chart represents a different pH level.
Is the plant indicator test an alternative means of determining the pH of your soil
yes,the presence of a certain plant can be an indicator of pH. If your soil is acid, you will find acid adaptable weeds such as sorrels or horsetails. White and red clovers are signs of fertile and near neutral or moderately acid soil
Is leaf analysis considered doing it yourself test
no, many agricultural service officers and some private labs will analyze certain nutrients especially nitrogen more accurately. Most labs require 30-40 newly matured leaves from a group of plants in one area.
When attempting to correct soil imbalances in an organic garden, should one expect overnight solutions to the problem?
no, they look for a 2,3,4 year program that will result in fertile and rich soil. for touch ups use organic fertilizers
You have problems with physical sturcture of your soil compaction, low humus, poor drainage or poor water and air retention. What is the solution
Add 1 inch of compost or other fine-textured organic material, such as mowed buckwheat spread over the soil surface equals to about 5 percent volume of the first foot of soil.
What is the best method of getting organic matter into your garden soil?
Rotary tilling and double digging
What is the green manure crop?
A crop that is grown and then incorporated into the soil to increase soil fertility and organic matter content.Some commonly grown crops for this purpose are grassy crops such as oats, buckwheat, or legume crops like clovers.
Some green manures are legumes, crops whose roots form an association with soil-borne bacteria that can transform nitrogen from the atmosphere into nitrogen compounds that can be used by plants. what is this process called?
nitrogen fixation
What is the best method of incorporating organic matter into soils where plants have already been established, e.g. shrubs, etc
mulching-use 4inch layer of chopped leaves, wood chips, etc. DO NOT pile mulch against trunk of woody plants. Rodents feed on wood
What are the best methods of top-dressing your lawn
Add a 1/2 inch layer of finished compost over the entire surface of the lawn in the spring and again in the fall.3 weeks before first mowing
What are the best methods of dealing with heavy clay in an organic garden?
Double digging is the best short term option, and adding sand along with organic materials, or using green manures and incorporating organic matter are the best long-term solutions
What causes hardpans in soils
Soil compaction by heavy traffic in the area or plowing the soil to the same depth each year
How can drainage problems caused by hardpans be eliminated?
1)double-digging 2)plant deep rott crops such as clover 3)use raised beds in wet area, and 4)install a drainage system.
How can one improve the biological activity in the soil?
By adding organic matter which improves the soil conditions for living organisms such as bacteria and other microherd members. Some organic fertilizer off bacterial cultures that give microbes wich are activated and biological activity accelerates
How can one revive or increase the earthworm population in the soil?
1)Add organic matter to feed them and they will return2)order earthworms form catalogs red wrigglers
What is the bbest way to improve the material content in the soil or an organic garden
Add finished compost or other partially decayed organic material; this helps to balance mineral content and even modify soil pH