Soil Nutrients

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Soil Nutrients. Soil = f (Climate, Parent material, Living organisms, Topography, Time ). Deciduous. Coniferous. Prairie. Optimum pH for turf and gardens. depends on species ** pH range kentucky bluegrass 6.0 - 7.6 creeping red fescue 5.3 - 7.5 sweet corn 6.0 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Soil Nutrients

  • Soil = f (Climate, Parent material, Living organisms, Topography, Time )


  • Optimum pH for turf and gardensdepends on species** pH rangekentucky bluegrass 6.0 - 7.6creeping red fescue 5.3 - 7.5sweet corn 6.0potato 5.4 6.0green bean 6.8tomato 6.0

  • What nutrients do plants get from the air and water?CarbonHydrogenOxygen

  • What are the Primary Nutrients?NitrogenPhosphorousPotassium

  • What are the Secondary Nutrients?SulferCalciumMagnesium

  • What are the Micronutrients?IronBoronZincManganeseCopperMolybdenumChlorine

  • What are the 16 essential nutrients?C HOPKNS CaFe Mg B Mn CuZn ClMo

  • Functions of Primary Nutrients and the deficiency symptoms?Nitrogen: other than water, most important, determines rate of growthdeficiency: yellowing of leavesPhosphorous: needed most during germination and during fruit/seed formationdeficiency: stunted growth, purple color in leavesPotassium: mostly regulatorydeficiency: stunted growth, mottled leaves

  • Are there non-essential plant nutrients that need to be considered?Yes, iodine and cobalt are essential in animals but found in plants

  • Why is a knowledge of soil nutrients necessary?maximize yieldmaximize profitmaintain soil fertility

  • How do you determine soil fertility?soil testingmanage organic matterfertilize

  • Soil test reportpotential for deficiencywhich nutrient neededhow much to applyfertilizer for nutrient needlime, sulfur amendments for pH changewhen to applywhen to STOP!

  • What is Fertilizer Analysis?it is the amount of the different nutrients found in a fertilizerthe amount is listed as a percentit is ALWAYS listed Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium (N-P-K)a fertilizer labeled 10-15-10 is 10% Nitrogen, 15% Phosphorous, and 10% Potassiumif there is a fourth letter it is for Sulfer

  • How many pounds of Nitrogen are in a 50# bag of 10-15-10?10% of 50# = 5# Nitrogen

  • Pounds of Actual Nutrients in a 50# bag of 10-15-10?add up 10+15+10 = 35% nutrients or 17.5#

  • What is the other 65% of this bag?inert matterials (filler)

  • Compost

  • What is Compost ?Material left after the aerobic decomposition of organic material(s)OrganicMaterial + bugs + O2 Compost + CO2 + H2O

  • General CharacteristicsN availability much lower than fresh materials like manures, biosolids, food processing wastes (
  • Fresh Vs. Composted Organic MatterFresh WastesHigh biological activitySome have high nutrient availabilityCan immobilize nutrients during early stages of decompositionHighly variable in physical traitsInstability can increase Pythium damping off of certain cropsCompostAlready gone through decomposition, stableMature compost should provide some nutrientsImproves drainage and other physical propertiesProvides for biological control of Phytophthora root rot

  • Making Your Own CompostBuild a bin 5 x 5 x 5 ft.Add organic materials and adjust to 40-60 % water contentUse bulking agent for wet materials, add water to dry materialsHigh C:N materials take longerMaintain aeration by frequent turningCompost is finished when pile doesnt re-heat and it is difficult to distinguish initial materials

    Wide tolerance of turf grasses to soil pH.What the soil test report says.Recycling nutrients and organic material with compost. Common sources of organic materials for compost available to the gardener include yard waste and food scraps. Do not include pet wastes because of the possible transmission of disease. Composting requires aerobic activity of microbes. These microbes generate considerable heat from their metabolism. This heat may kill plant diseases and weed seeds. Frequent pile turning is necessary for composting.Nutrient availability, especially N, is generally low from compost because all the more easily decomposed compounds were destroyed by the composting process. Materials that have a low C:N will compost more quickly. Finished composts can vary depending on the feedstock and process.Compare the benefits of using composted materials with the use of fresh materials.You can build your own compost bin with a variety of materials (cement blocks, wood planks, woven wire). Maintain roughly 50% water content in the pile. High C:N materials like straw, sawdust take a long time to compost. Recognize that for the homeowner composting takes time and effort. The final product is useful in gardens and save your municipality cost.


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