Monday, May 17, 2010

Soil Amendments

Soil testing is a must in our operation. It shows us what nutrients our soil needs to have added, based on what the crop needs. Some crops take out more of one type of element or mineral, and some crops actually add things into the soil, which is why we are careful to rotate crops on a planned schedule. But often, we need to fertilize in some way or another.

Most of the time we use compost as our "fertilizer". All compost is not created equal, and tests are run on compost, too--to see what each type has to offer.

But this year our soils showed a distinct need for potash, some fields more than others. In our effort to become certified organic, we chose to apply wood ash based on the soil test results. The wood ash is a byproduct of bio-energy production. (It's always nice to be able to put the by-product of something to good use, too.)

Since we don't own nifty equipment like this, we hired the spreading done. The application of wood ash was done a couple of weeks ago already, and The Farmer has already planted some hay and oats. Then we had a week of cold and rainy weather. This coming week looks to be more promising for additional field work. Stay tuned!


  1. We use our wood ash to discourage the autumn olive (cut it down and dump a bucket of ash on the stump, and it struggles a bit and usually dies).

  2. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!


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