Monday, July 15, 2013

Amending Soil to Fix the Zero Nitrogen Issue

I am aware that some organic vegetable gardens may have very low water soluble nitrogen levels, but ZERO seems a bit low to me.  I'm hoping this is the issue with my North and West beds, because it is one that I can fix.  Just to be sure, I dug up a few of my pathetic tomato plants to take them back to the nursery for show and tell, along with my soil test results.

I came back with some new tricks.

The first is blood meal.  I've heard that it is easy to burn plants with this as it can be too nitrogen-hot, but really, with ZERO, is that going to be an issue?  (Were those famous last words?)  One of the nursery guys told me to use it in 2-5x quantities on the label and he wasn't concerned.  Another just said he's had trouble with it attracting animals, so he recommended I scratch it in.  I don't want to attract the raccoon pair that's recently been sited in the neighborhood.

I used the blood meal in the North Bed: 4 1/6  cups total.
Blood meal in the West Bed: 1 5/6 cups total

I clawed it in for both locations.

The second photo shows what I'm hoping will be my new best friends: Dial N Spray and Fish Fertilizer.  Today I used the Sprayer for the first time and it was super easy.  We had something like this about 12 years ago that wasn't nearly as intuitive.  I used the fish emulsion on the North Bed, West Bed, South Bed, Pots, and Front.  (Plus the camellias were in my way, so I foliar sprayed them, too.)

I hope to see some improvement in the sorry state of some plants.  I hope I'm on the right track.

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