soil pH

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OK, so as to further pursue the pH matter....
cheap electronic pH meters are usually not very reliable, and +/- 0.1 units precision would be desired. I think going the electronic meter route will run you 100 USD plus pH standards.
On the other hand, there are some narrow range pH papers that I would think should work, but have no knowledge of people using, owing mainly to my lack of gardening experience. This is not same as litmus paper. Anyone know about the use of these?
What about specific flower petals? Some of these should work well.... I think?
Also, I am curious about documentation on hot to properly measure soil pH. I have run tap water over a pot of soil until it leaks out the bottom, and then measured pH in the flow-through. I reckoned maybe this is the water that is actually available to the roots. This is convenient to use with standard lab pH meter, but I could guess that botanists have some formal protocols they follow. Any ideas?
Dominic-Luc Webb
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Plant Hydrangea? ;-)
http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1067.htm
--
K.

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Katra wrote:

I'll pass that suggestion on to the wife, who will break my legs if I transplant any of her H's., although the Clemson site does have info on changing soil pH, and a nice chart to use for reduction of pH in pounds per square feet in a loamy soil (HAH!) in their Fact Sheet 1650, thanks.
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Welcome! :-)
Cheers!
--
K.

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wrote:

Its called PHion paper and high schools use it in chem class a lot...available on ebay and very accurate and easy to use.

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In article

Tad,
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach.html appears to be a GREAT site. I haven't read much of it yet but I was struck by a repeated passage: " Bacteria (and fungi) need N, P, K, Ca, and all the other nutrients as well, and obtain those from organic matter and from inorganic sources as well."
It may look at first blush that the authors are recommending the use of "N,P,K chemical fertilizers" (I suspect they aren't.). My understanding from reading "Teaming with Microbes" by Lowenfels and Lewis is that most commercial sources rely on salts to nurture the plants and soil. Salts, in turn, have an detrimental osmotic effect on microorganism. I presume that the higher the concentration of salts the greater the detriment and vice--versa.
I'm just throwing in my 2 worth in and recommend that beginners try to only use organic fertilizers with food stuffs until they understand organic principals.
Apropos a discussion in "wrecked gardens.edible" on the dandelion, which has deep roots and will translocate Ca and K from subsoils to the surface. It, I believe, is also the only diuretic that supplies potassium.
--

Billy

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Billy,
The author of all the writings on the website is Dr. Elaine Ingham. She is a well known in the industry and one of the pioneers in research and theory relating to the Soil Food Web. She also wrote the preface to Jeff Lowenfels' Book (another great resource). You are correct in what you interpreted from Jeff's book. He recommends organic fertilizers with NPK below 5-5-5. What Dr. Ingham is stating in the above quote is that the nutrients in most instances are already tied up in the soil, and just need to made available to the plant (this is where the biology comes in). The bacteria consume the organic material, and then are eaten by larger organisms (flagellates, cilliates, bacterial-feeding nematodes). The waste products of this process results in plant available nutrients.
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Tad
Please define "nutrient".
Also as far as soil goes and the chemistry there of pertaining to trees can be found here:
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/RHIZO.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/CHEM.html
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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N P K C and so on are elements and not nutrients.
Food, Nutrient, And Fertilizer - Food is a substance that provides and energy source, mostly. Nutrient is a substance that provides an energy source, elements, and other substances essential for life, in types and amounts that can provide a healthy life. Fertilizer is a substance that provides elements, as salts mostly, or in bonded forms, that require microorganisms to alter to forms that can be absorbed by plants.
A nutrient - A substance that contains both an energy source and an element source.
Nutrients - Fungi can absorb energy sources such as carbohydrates. Plants cannot do so. Fungi can absorb nutrients. Nutrients are substances that contain an energy source, elements, and other substances in types and amounts that are essential for a healthy life. You can give a fungus a nutrient in the dark and it will thrive. You can give a plant a nutrient in the dark and it will die. Plants require light energy from the sun to "make" glucose from carbon - dioxide and water. The process is called photosynthesis. When you call fertilizers or nutrients food for trees and other plants it shows you are ignorant of photosynthesis. many people obviously do not understand plants. Sad, very sad.
Myths: Roots regenerate new roots, roots absorb nutrients, roots are all shallow, roots are the most important part of a plant, roots have pith, roots have heartwood, roots and stems are the same, roots have a green cortex, roots have associations called mycorrhizae, roots absorb food, roots are all below ground, roots on infant trees are the same as mature roots, roots have flairs called root flairs, roots cannot live under pavements, all roots absorb from the soil, over-pruning does not injure roots, roots do not compartmentalize infections, roots are independent of the tops, you can inoculate roots with mycorrhizae, root tips are called root hairs, only root hairs absorb "food", roots go dormant in winter as the top does, roots have buds, and probably many more! Is it any wonder trees have many problems!
A list of "elements" which I am talking about, can be found here in the table:
Just to clearly define what I mean when I say element. http://www.webelements.com /
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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John,
nutrient noun a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life : fish is a source of many important nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin nutrient- <<"nourishing">>, from the verb nutrire.
Please note, "including protein, vitamins, and minerals. There is no energy in vitamins or minerals but they are nutrients.
One of my instructors once picked up a round metal trash can and asked the class what it was. We, enthusiastically said it was a round metal trash can. Where upon he turned it over and started drumming on it. What is it?, he asked again. A drum we responded less enthusiastically. The he sat it up-side down on the floor and sat on it. A thing is only restricted in our imaginations as to what it is. It is what it does.
N, P, K, C and so on are elements and can be nutrients, except for N which is pretty much worthless until it is converted into ammonia or nitrate. C is also pretty inert biologically unless it come as CO2 or carbohydrates.
Now, if you want to talk elements, we need to talk electron orbitals, each of which has a "probability" of being in a particular area at any given time. For our purposes, I presume you will be prepared to talk about the s, p, d, and f orbitals next time. P orbitals are particularly important because they allow for double bonds and aromaticity in cyclical compounds, like tannins.

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Billy

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80 + or - 10. I would rather discuss quarks and mesons. Then work our way back to why it is illigal to grow commercial hemp in the USA to relieve the forest from its hurting extracting procedures. Ben Franklin was a hemp farmer, why can I not be one? What was really the problem with Ben Franklin? He watched the lightning raise the hairs on the hemp kite string as it traveled downward into the Earth, LeMay said Franklin couldn't resist reaching out to touch the hemp and, as you'd expect, he got a slight shock. It was not just any string that connected Ben Franklin to the clouds above for his famous experiment, it was hemp string. George Washington as a hemp farmer. The writer of the Declaration of Independence grew hemp. THE STORY OF HEMP IN COLONIAL VIRGINIA, By Herndon. A Dissertation which includes references to George Washington as a hemp farmer. Excellent history. Ask yourself this question: How does George Washington get to grow hemp and not the Curator? It gets to the core of the question, what happened in the last 200 years that we lost such an important right, namely the control of agricultural production. This prohibition must come to an end. What an incredible embarrassment it would be to have to explain to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that they would have to pull up their hemp crops, that would have been the Second American Revolution! Both men were high on hemp as an important crop to replace and rotate with tobacco. It still is.
We really need to use our minds on something prodcutive. As far as the table of elements. Its still not a table of nutrients. Industrial hemp has thousands of uses, from paper to textiles to biodegradable plastics to health food to fuel. It is one of the fastest growing biomasses on the planet, and one of the earliest domesticated plants known. It also runs parallel with the "Green Future" objectives that are becoming increasingly popular. Hemp requires little to no pesticides, replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen, controls erosion of the topsoil, and converts CO2 to oxygen very well, considering how fast it grows. Furthermore, Hemp could be used to replace many potentially harmful products, such as tree paper (the process of which uses bleaches and other toxic chemicals, apart from contributing to deforestation), cosmetics (which often contain synthetic oils that can clog pores and provide little nutritional content for the skin), plastics (which are petroleum based and cannot decompose), and more. Hemp was used extensively by the United States during WWII. Uniforms, canvas, and rope were among the main textiles created from the hemp plant at this time. Much of the hemp used was planted in the Midwest and Kentucky. Historically, hemp production made up a significant portion of Kentucky's economy and many slave plantations located there focused on producing hemp.[25]
In ref. to latter: A nutrient is a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from the environment. Non-autotrophic organisms typically acquire nutrients by the ingestion of foods. Methods for nutrient intake vary, with animals and protists having an internal digestive system, while plants digest nutrients externally and then ingested.
Again

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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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While kicking around the idea of quarks and their odd flavors may be interesting, it seems a bit (a whole freakin' lot actually) tangential to the discussion of plant nutrients and healthy garden soils. Whereas ionic bonding transports ammonia and nitrates to the root hairs, the actual transport across the cell membrane requires the making and breaking of covalent bonds by the appropriate proteins. So where do quarks come into the conversation? NOWHERE!!!
Or are you asserting that your obfuscation is analogous to my MS Tech Support simile?

I'll catch you at 4:20 but for now can we please stay on subject?

What is CO2? What is NO3, or NH3? Are these nutrients? Are they digested externally? Yes, they are nutrients, and no, they aren't metabolized externally.

Everything above is correctly identified as myths and totally useless to someone who wants to adjust their soil to maximize plant health.
Never mind. I can see that the Borg have landed and conversation is futile.
--

Billy

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Oh really? maybe we can kick this around. First my concern for the health of soils is the supply of cellulose. Cellulose provides glucose for many organisms especially in the soil or more correctly, of the soil. One problem with most definitions of soil is they forget the enormous amount of living organisms that make up "HEALTHY" soil.
e.g., just one def. off the internet.
"Soil is the unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the earth and serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants."
Here is another def.
"Dirt, or soil, is made from rocks that break apart or wear away over many years. This is referred to as weathering. It may take 100 to 1000 years for 1 cm of soil to form through weathering. Soil also contains air, water, and humus, the decayed remains of dead animals and plants. Soil can actually be separated into 5 main parts: humus, clay, silt, sand, and gravel." hmmmm!
I prefer this def. Soil is a substance made up of sands, silts, clays, decaying organic matter, air, water and an "enormous number of living organisms". Is it alive or dead? Yes, is the answer. We have no word for a substance that is both living and dead - wood, soil.
Now healthy soil concerns must address an enormous number of living organisms. Cellulose provides food for many.
OK, back to quarks. Cellulose is atoms of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Atoms are protons and electrons. Protons and electrons are quarks and leptons. Not that I completely understand it but quarks do play a role in soil health.
Something interesting I was studying when I found this out.
Did you know in a sense trees are music? Music is highly ordered waves and vibrations. Trees are wood, mostly. Wood is cellulose, mostly. Cellulose is atoms of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Atoms are protons and electrons. Protons and electrons are quarks and leptons. Quarks and leptons are highly ordered waves and vibrations. Wait a minute!! Music is also highly ordered waves and vibrations!! Think about it.
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Do you talk like this to your clients? Do they come back after you do? Or, more likely, do they edge away from you slowly and carefully refraining from sudden movements. I'm not a consulting arborist but I'm pretty sure that you don't need to delve into quantum physics to practice effective horticulture. As for trees being music... well ... whatever floats your boat.
ml
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wrote:

Do they come back after you do? Or,

1st. I was not talking to you I was speaking to Billy. 2nd I sure do. Believe it or not some people with an understanding of chemistry do hire people like me who understand a very little about chemistry to work on their property. 3rd You reply really does not explain the topic or offer any incite to the topic. maybe you should comment on something you can offer or add understanding to. As far as your opinion on waves and vibrations, thanks for sharing your beliefs. You or anybody offering a servcie have the right to be ignorant. BTW, what do you mean when you say "practice effective horticulture"? Just what does that mean? Oh, if they did not come back they would not be a client.
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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yeah fine, whatever. your aluminum foil beanie needs adjusting.
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Oh, kzin
Draining a wetland for a foot path is not only illegal in some areas but a very bad idea.
Ref: http://www.groupsrv.com/hobby/post-3421514.html
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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well if you follow the entire thread you'll note that I recommend that he seek professional advice. Said professional would have been able to assess the environmental impact of the propsed path and the legality thereof. Also if you read that thread you'd see that it wasn't a wetland he was talking about but an area behind a commercial office block that would flood during the rain.
nice try
ml
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wrote:

Oh, its a flood plain?
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wrote:

Nice try? At what? Its still a bad idead to alter wetlands or flood plains.
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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