Soil Analysis

Discussion about the small Australian acres. What we can plant, animals that work and how we can farm sustainably.
minnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Soil Analysis

Postby minnie » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:55 am

We've just got back our soil analysis from SWEP, and boy is it a surprise... we still have to get the one in the post and speak to Pat Coleby but so far it makes sense on why our winter/spring growth is non-existant.

While it's widely said all soil needs lime and dolomite we need 0, and magnesium is higer than normal so we need 0. But we need 20 tonne per hectare of Gypsum!! :o Which ball park works out about $4000.00 per hectare to get it right.

On looking up a bit about gypsum it helps with winter and spring growth... hmmm and we get 0 and I mean 0 growth in winter or spring, yet we live in a frost free and had good rain (need it again now) with warmth (sub-tropical) and spring just doesn't happen at all, I've never seen anything like it.

We new there was something WAY out of whack and it's good to know. While we can't afford to Gypsum the entire property in one hit, we'll price a hectare at a time and then fertilise with the recommended requirement which isn't huge and see how it goes.

It will certainly be interesting to see the results that's for sure.
:D
Vicki
BTW now it makes sense why we couldn't grow potatoes - no calcium in the soil.

greenfarmers
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:06 am

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby greenfarmers » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:58 pm

Hi Vicki,

It might pay to talk to Pat - by all accounts she does not necessarily always agree with the lab's recommendation ...

Heidi

minnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Re: Soil Analysis

Postby minnie » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:39 pm

Hi Heidi,

Absolutely, and luckily we paid for a Pat test , so just waiting for it to arrive in the mail (I got one emailed) and she gets her copy and then we can talk.

What we found interesting is most people need lime and we're recommended 0.

We're so pleased we did it, rather than guessing... in her book the example analysis most like ours she said 'it's possibly the most dangerous and most difficult to deal with' we've got great PH but with double the magnesium and half the calcium. She said in the book without a soil analysis people spread dolomite and that's the worst thing to do... so thank goodness we've really done nothing, other than a couple of bags of fertiliser.

Just goes to show it's worth doing and the cost is paltry compared to paying for feed because you have no pasture that's for sure.
:D
Vicki

greenfarmers
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:06 am

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby greenfarmers » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:30 am

Hi Vicki,

any update on your soil -- curious as we have not gone that path with testing now. We are instead working more Peter Andrews, Natural Farming, permaculture approach ... easier without stock though.

But ever curious to see what Pat recdommended.

Heidi :)

minnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Re: Soil Analysis

Postby minnie » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:47 pm

Hi Heidi,

DH spoke to Pat on Saturday.

She recommended 2 ton of Gypsum per hectare every twelve months, and not the SWEP recommend of 20 ton per hectare. She said it was too much in one hit and to build it up. She also said it looked good but just out of balance because of the lack of calcium.

I read in her book she said that people with the same sort of problem often heavily dolmite and that's the wrong thing, as we've double the magnesium it can almost make it toxic for stock with the extra mag in the dolomite.

So luckily we hadn't really done anything, other than one area we'd put a general organic fertiliser on and we didn't use that soil for the test.

It's definitely been worthwhile doing, just wish we had a few years back... but we didn't then and now move on... we'll do the test every year to see how we're going and honestly for the cost just over $100 it's worth every penny.
:D
Vicki

Mojojo
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Perth and Donnybrook, WA

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby Mojojo » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:48 pm

Vicki, a question re: Pat Coleby,
We sent our soil off and got results from SWEP last year, with the added 'Pat Coleby' test,
but as things went, I never got around to calling her;

Tell me, how does it work with Pat, I just call her and she goes through things with me? Cost?

I am thinking I may have to re-send her our results being as it was in about November I got them.

Our soil (ore perhaps I should say, our sand) is basically largely deficient in everything, except Iron.
I put out some organic pelleted composted poultry manure over the weekend, but before I go messing around with Lime etc think I should speak to Pat.
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
Contact:

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby minnie » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:33 am

Hi Jo,

I think we just called her, I'd call and ask if she wants the report again... but she may still have it.

She was great, and the cost is in the report when you order the Pat Coleby one.

We have to do an analysis of our new place which goes from sandy to rock hard bush block stuff, 'twill be interesting... especially after here with the gypsum.

Let us know how you go .
:D
Vicki

Mojojo
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Perth and Donnybrook, WA

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby Mojojo » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:12 pm

I am a bit weirded out after talking to Pat, Vicki, I will PM you the details.
:?
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

minnie
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
Contact:

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby minnie » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:19 pm

Hi Jo,

Got the PM and I don't blame you, I'd be weirded out too... she is very old, getting close to 90 I think, maybe.... :?: :?:

Vicki

Mojojo
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Perth and Donnybrook, WA

Re: Soil Analysis

Postby Mojojo » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:35 pm

I've already ordered two of Pats books online, Cattle care and Natural farming, (I found my long lost and about to expire Dymocks voucher the other day... got those two along with Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads, and Joel Salatin's You can farm, am very interested to read that last one)
Maybe I will get more sense out of the books ;)
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost


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