The soil samples I sent to the lab for testing are in. Here is what I wrote earlier in Project 803 Step 3.
Full of rich composted matter, sand and topsoil. I sent a sample off the Soil Laboratory at Texas A&M for testing. It is a good idea to test your soil before starting your garden, so you’ll have a chance to amend the soil if needed. I do not expect I will need to do that, but we’ll wait for the results. Here is the website (Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory) that has the information, forms and instructions for sending in your soil. I chose the Urban Soil Submittal form for homeowners.
Well here is a copy of the report and as you can see the garden mix is extremely low in Nitrogen and moderately low in Phosphorus. The soil is alkaline at 8.2 which is a bit too high. I would like to get this down to the 7.0 – 7.5 range. Organic matter is 17.96%, which sounds pretty good. If you think otherwise, please chime in and let me know. I’ll have to dig out my Soil Science Lab book to check.
My next step is to amend the soil. I’ll be heading over to Southwest Fertilizer later today to pick up some organic soil amendments to increase the N and P and lower the pH. Fortunately, I have not planted any seeds yet, but I better hurry as September is just days away. Looks like I may be purchasing some veggie plants in 4-inch pots for this fall garden instead of seeds.
UPDATE: Visited Southwest Fertilizer and picked up some BLOODMEAL and BONE MEAL. Overall the store has a lot of things for gardeners, but I left thinking that they primarily sell bags of fertilizer (some organic and some not). The first guy I spoke with did not have a clue about the SOIL TEST REPORT, but I finally found someone who did. He recommended this 40 lb bag of fertilizer that I could use for years to continually dress the top of the soil. NO THANK YOU. That is not part of my plan. I read that the best thing you can do for your soil is add humus (a dark-colored, stable form of organic matter, which is the end product of composting. Organic material that is completely decomposed). I would rather make compost myself, add some manure, and do it manually.