What happened?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by claytonpiano, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. claytonpiano

    claytonpiano Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last year we put lots and lots of rotted manure and compost on our garden. Over winter we let the chickens run in the garden, eat everything remaining and then mulched with lots of straw. When I tested my soil, the test shows NO nitrogen. I really want to garden organically. What can I do now for this year's vegetable garden? I have lots of chicken manure mixed with wood shavings from the recent cleaning of the chicken house. Can I spread this on the garden or should I do something else? We just haven't been able to make enough compost yet. (Last year was the first garden here on our new property.)

    We had plenty of potassium and the ph was great from the soil test. What should we do for the nitrogen?
     
  2. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    wierd, chickens should ramp the n way up. you sure the test was calibrated?
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    No nitrogen at all? I'd get fresh testing material and do another test.
     
  4. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't panic. It sure sounds like the test just didn't come out right. Did you just buy a kit or did you send your soil to a testing facility. I had heard that those places always come back with the same diagnosis.

    I do the same thing to my garden, as you have. It sure sounds like you have given the soil everything that it needs to produce some wonderful veggies for you and your family.
     
  5. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Straw and wood shavings can tie up N until they break down.
     
  6. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    Was the wood chips well rotted? One year, I put some wood chips around some plants, and took every bit of the nitrogen out. The plants even turned yellow
     
  7. claytonpiano

    claytonpiano Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I sent samples from 3 places in the garden. I suppose that due to the sandy soil, the nitrogen could have leached out. The wood chips have not decomposed well enough yet for me to add the manure to the garden. I was thinking of putting the rabbit manure straight on the garden. We have several rabbits and surely that wouldn't burn my new plants, would it? I can't remember the actual nitrogen numbers, but they were very low. I'm wondering if the rotting straw might have had an effect on the nitrogen.
     
  8. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the others-something went wrong with your samples/test.If your chips aren't breaking down,go ahead and add some nitrogen.I use soil testing to hip me to the PH,but as far as nutrient levels, a soil test can't tell me anything that the plants can't tell me.
     
  9. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try vermiculture - worm poop (or castings, as the professionals say) almost doubles the nitrogen in the soil. Not much use now, but good in 6 months.
     
  10. treehugger24

    treehugger24 Well-Known Member

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    we have a small pet rabbit, and I put her manure directly in my herb spiral, but compost the bedding straw with urine as it seems the urine is what burns my plants when added directly.
    :cute: treehugger24 tamara