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Post your experiences, questions and answers about growing wild-simulated ginseng
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TOPIC: Soil Test Results

Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36360

Looking for some advice in reference to my soil test results. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Soil pH: 5.9
CEC: 14.1
Organic Matter: 5.7%
Phosphorus: 62 ppa
Potassium: 370 ppa
Calcium: 3,336 ppa
Magnesium: 538 ppa

According to what I have read do you think phosphorus should be increased and if so by doing what? Also would I benefitd from adding gypsum to increase calcium to 4,000 ppa? If gypsum is needed how much per acre would you recommend? Again thank you.

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36369

gibbs51,
I don't know that you need to do anything unless you just want to try to get it near perfect. Those numbers are close enough that you can grow some pretty good ginseng without investing more money or time. Give a patch a try and you'll see results within 2 years. Good luck.

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36371

Hello, I am new to the forum. I was wondering if it would be worth growing ginseng on my property. My dad has had a small patch growing for around 15 years on the property, but after getting a soil sample I am discouraged.

PH 4.8
P 18
K 115
Mag 106
Calcium 412

I planted a pound of seed last year. I spread a bag of gypsum prior to planting. This year I have more seeds coming but don't know if spreading gypsum would be enough and how much to spread. My dad's plants seem healthy compared to wild I have found but from all I've read on here and books, I have extremely poor soil. By the way, this forum is awesome, you guys really know your stuff. I have been around ginseng for along time but never really knew much about it. Thanks for any help!

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36378

gibbs51 I agree with Hugh 100%. Those are some great numbers!!!

forestygrad, welcome to the forum. Sorry to say those numbers are really poor. However, you stated your dads 15 year old plants are doing well on the property.

In my experience, poor quality soil will support some seed germination. However, what does survive will be slow growing but may also be surprisingly healthy. So if you are just doing it for a hobby and want to get some wild simulated going for the sheer enjoyment of seeing it grow, then go for it.
However, most likely your roots will be smaller and fewer.

One other thing to take note of is the canopy. If your canopy is 75% which allows more sun in, your plants will benefit from it. Darker woods with a canopy of 90% or more will grow seng but it will grow slow and have small roots. Not a bad thing if you do not mind waiting 20 years for it to be of any size. Trust me I know this to be a fact as I have experienced this first hand with multiple sites I am growing wild simulated in.
Good luck,
Latt

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36380

Thanks for the info. The canopy is probably around 80-85 (seems pretty dark). We've never picked any of my dad's to see how the roots are. We plan on picking some this year. His plants aren't as dark green as some I've found but he has some descent 4 prongs. That's why I figured I could grow some. I was hoping to grow enough to pay for a vacation every year later in life by planting a pound of seed every year. I wouldn't have guessed our soil was that bad. I've read about the Hankins method, guess I'll keep a small patch at the house seeded like that. Maybe just scatter it around other places. Do you think a bag or 2 of gypsum would help enough to be worth while? I know its normally not good to fertilize but, I was also wondering if a tiny bit of 0-20-20 would help the soil and roots. Thanks!

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36387

I am the wrong guy to give advice on soil amendments. There are some fellas on here that do amend the soil by adding Calcium and adjusting PH levels up or down with different soil amendments etc.
So hopefully they will respond to you on this.

Food for thought - It is my belief that adding shredded or mulched leaf litter to your future growing site may be beneficial in adding some organic matter as well as helpful bacteria. Some even till it in to a depth of 3 inches to amend the soil a bit. Any deeper than that will make the soil too loose and you may end up growing carrot like looking seng roots that are virtually worthless in comparison to wild simulated and woods grown. Maple leaves add a good bit of calcium to the soil from what I have read and have been told from those that are doing it.
Good luck,
Latt

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36388

Forestrygrad,

I'm going to make a suggestion here that has some work and a little money involved to it. You have some pretty low readings on the Phosphorus and Calcium side of things. I believe in your case you might need to go with Lime instead of Gypsum to get that PH level up where it needs to be. Since Phosphorus is hard to get to move through the soil you might want to work it in to get to the lower levels. I highly recommend that you use Maple leaves like Latt suggested to add organic matter and more Calcium to your soil. I hope this helps and good luck.

Hugh

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 3 months ago #36401

Thanks! I was worried about lime but that would probably be the easiest and cheapest way to up the calcium. I thought 4.8 was the only thing about my soil that was ok, but bringing it up in the 5's couldn't hurt, and the lime I buy for food plots has calcium in it. A ton is only $20. So, its a Win Win. Thanks again!

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 2 months ago #36978

I started today...friends site...shady...companion plants...I noticed while planting...the soil is,dark rich...but loose...can this pose a problem?...I know the how is good because of the trillium,Bloodroot,jack in the pulpit....and sarsparilla growing there.

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Re:Soil Test Results 2 years 2 months ago #36981

silverwolf2604 wrote:

I started today...friends site...shady...companion plants...I noticed while planting...the soil is,dark rich...but loose...can this pose a problem?...I know the how is good because of the trillium,Bloodroot,jack in the pulpit....and sarsparilla growing there.


Last year I found a place in where the soil was so loose you could literally put your arm into it, by wiggling your fingers, up to your elbows. It had several wild seng plants that all looked like carrots, with branched roots, but still smooth. When I sold, I pointed them out to the dealer and had them on top of my pile so he could see them. He didn't lower the buying price any, mostly because I had not tried pulling a slick number, and because I had so many nice size, unbroken, wild looking roots to go with them. I would think if that was all I had I would have taken a beating on the price. I recommend planting there for seed/transplants production and elsewhere for root production.

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