A Serious Question.

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I have been wrestling with this question for several months now,can't find the answer.

Can one have high (compared to the 6.5 desired) pH (7.0-7.5) and
high Nitrogen
and high Phosphorus,
and low Potassium (potash)
Was this reading correct?
If so how could/would one lower to unlocked the needed bounded nutrients?
Also, how could one receive such a reading,what could have or did cause it?

You will be my pH Hero if you know the answer to this one*:D:D:eek::confused:

Hi Kale, dunno about being a hero lol, but during I've learn't a few things along the way which may help you out a bit. The readings you've been getting are very possible indeed. High nitrogen levels are quite common, the main cause is over fertilisng the bed(s). The quickest way to overcome this problem is to give the beds a very thorough watering and not add any more fertiliser for a couple of months. Quite a few years ago I had this very problem and it turned out that what I thought was a nitrogen deficiency in my beds (in my ignorance I kept on adding more nitrogen rich fertiliser lol) was actually and iron deficiency (both have similar symptoms) ie leaf yellowing.
High phosphorous is also easily rectified cut out bone meal, phosphate rock and any other fertiliser high in that particular element for at least 12 months or grow a lot of extra plants to absorb it faster.
Low potassium, there's two ways you can approach this. A quick ''fix" would be to add kelp meal or potash. The option I'd prefer to try would be more long term but with the remedies mentioned above put into practice the soil would eventually sweeten up and release a lot more micro nutrients into the beds thus helping to rectify your problem. Hope this helps you out a bit, also do all your beds have a similar ph reading?:)
Wombat! Thank you ,yes you helped, why certainly!:D:D
The readings you've been getting are very possible indeed/**** Thank you!***

I only add compost nothing else
I Compost all spent plant matter (I check meticulously not to put seed (I cut and separate seed (tops) from plants) or diseased matter discarded always )
Just about everything is chopped in processor.
I put broccoli spears
All kinds of vegetable peels (not the waxed ones)
Some fruit peels
Many Dozens of egg shells
Peanuts shells (pounds)
Coffee n tea grinds *(about 25 tea bags and 8 scoops of coffee per week)
Straw a few bushels (spent)
Leaves I get from neighbor’s trees.(about 3 -32gal garbage cans)
I get about a coffee can full every day or 2 of food matter.

It is so cool that you said KELP! I had bought kelp to add to my diet and it was sooooo gross I brought it outside for my compost but wasn’t sure what effect it would have until last year, I finally concluded to use it for my roses and I had a wonderful display!
I used just a tiny bit from the bag full I bought ..(very expensive!) Ok ..I thought that was a way out of this mess.
Yes all my veggie beds had the same reading along with the front, (which I found rather confusing!) I tried to grow flowering kale (in the front) and it just sat there I finally put it in a pot and it moved (grew) just a tad bit.
In the front.. I did have 2 rounds of untreated wood chips laid there once in 05 (May) then again in ( Dec) 07-08 season. The 08 season was mostly pine family the 05 was mixed 4 kinds of tree shredded wood chips) Not sure if that matters just thought Id throw that in…
Anyway back to the raised back veggies. I didn’t use any chips in the beds but did lay yards in the rows in 05 and 07 fall they were gone that is when I added several more yards.

I think I replied to it all .Let me know if I Missed something.:eek:

Plant matter is about 6 (5.5 cubic feet) wheelbarrows full (over flowing before shredding) of greens per complete season.
OH Sunflowers about 30 complete sunflowers not the heads or roots.Use to cut by hand until this year, (08-09) now I run them through my chipper:D

Hi Kale I was looking at the contents of your compost and there's some acidic elements and high nitrogen in there. Have you ph'd your compost by any chance before putting it on the garden? If it is acid then it's easy to change simply by adding a small amount of woodash or rock phosphate. I've done this for a few years and it works well, but if it still proves to be difficult then I add a little dolomite to the bed. Those wood chips would also be contributing to your overall soil acidity too. You could also add kelp meal to your compost heap, I add seaweed extract dissolved in water and it increases decomposition markedly. It's also a good way of adding potash to your pile before it goes on the garden. I also get a lot of leaves in my compost but I run over them with the mower to also speed up decomposition. As an aside is your heap aerobic or anaerobic?:)
Good Job Wombat! Also Kale think about commercial fertilizers and the way the numbers read. That is just like the reading you are getting in your garden. If you compare those numbers to fertilizer you will see which things will do best in those conditions or see where you need to adjust for what you are growing;)
Ok... I do not have Acidic soil.
I have Alkaline soils and want to know how to "lower" from 7.5 (some beds ) and 7.0 others.
* I want 6.5.just about everywhere!
While still having high nitrogen reading refer to 1st post for details.

Thanks you are very helpful!:)

Randy,Correct, I desire 6.5 and lower.

I have 7.0 I have 7.5 and one place, 8.0!

Great information from you all...I have always wondered how much difference it makes with the woodash in regardes to what type of wood one might have burned...or will it make any difference?...
I don't know that, Deb. I have some ashes available, but there are also metal pieces in them, so I won't use them.
6.5 doesn't really sound so bad to me, but I would have to ask somebody with more knowledge. I use the lime every year to keep the soil more on a neutral level, but if I didn't use it, I doubt that it would make a whole lot of difference.
I want to lower the pH.I want to lower from 7.0 to 6.5.
Randy your is LOW.
Mine is High.
I think I confused you there for a second.

Thank you .
Sawdust will do it and also lower the available nitrogen. Lots of watering will lower the pH also. That is the reason our pH is lower, because of all the rain.
Thank you Randy..Where do I get untreated sawdust:confused::confused:
And I thought that it looses it's value once wet, like charcoal (not that I would add bbq ed charcoal to my beds) .
I am a little confused; would untreated pine (ex-trees) work the same way?
I can grind that up a bit more in my new wood chipper/shredder. :D:D

Hi Kale, sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Lowering your ph is a long drawn out process as lime or dolomite is constantly being dissolved in the soil. Some folk go for a ''quick fix'' using Flowers of Sulphur or Ground Rock Sulphur, but over-use of it tends to destroy micro-organisms in the soil. A friend has used pine needles as a mulch and this appears to work well, albeit slowly. If the beds are unoccupied sulphur may be the way to go, (especially if your growing season is close) as you can add a higher concentration of sulphur than you would if beds were occupied. Well aged manure can also lower the ph....as you can see there's no really quick way of doing this but before you add compost to the bed get a ph reading of it and adjust it accordingly before spreading or digging it into the soil....hope this helps you a bit:)

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