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soil test results--help!

3 years ago

hi all, Hoping someone can chime in if they have experience with soil test results such as @roseseek or @strawchicago z5. We do not have a local extension office that provides soil tests so I went to a local farm supply. They werent the most helpful about what the results mean or the operational aspects of how to fix it. Test results came A&L Western Agricultural Labs, so I might call them. However, coming here for a wealth of knowledge you all have.

I am in south Orange County, CA (10a hot and dry) where the water is alkaline from what I have recently researched. We get very little rainfall to wash out the gardens soil. I replaced and/or amended the naturally clay soil with organics. I was only able to put out a little mulch on top last year owing to the nuttiness of the year (homeschooling two kids).

I tested the soil in some new beds I created 1.5 years ago. The roses in those beds are not thriving. Or in the case of Florentina, became a green monster with no flowers.

My ph is 7.6! I have low (8) nitrogen, very high phosphorus (110), high potassium (588), high magnesium (550), high zinc (7), low manganese (2), low calcium (2081) and copper is high (1.9). The gentleman at the supply said: add nitrogen, gypsum, and elemental sulfur. I did use rose tone last year a few times as well as weak fish emulsion.

However, I believe watering and the ph of our water plays into this as well. I was watering twice a day in the summer, less quantity, due to the high heat, which I now believe added to the problem.

My questions are: What nitrogen only supplement would you all recommend? I see Espoma produces urea but I'm worried about overdoing it. How often /how many gallons should I water keeping in mind the alkalinity issue? How about a product for elemental sulfur? And does anyone understand Percent Cation Saturation enough to explain it to me?? thanks for any advice, rosey people!

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