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Soil Test-South Carolina
Got my soil test back today on the new farm. Low PH of 5.5. Explains why my RYE did so terrible this year. Got a lot of work to do putting out Lime looks like. Any suggestions?
Anybody ever use one of these over-the-counter testers for soil PH (see link)?
That would be nice if they are accurate! Soil test was only 6.00 but you have to gather samples and deliver to county co-op extension office. That was a pretty good drive for me.
Guess its not soil test season
Almost all areas of upstate SC will need lime. Liquid lime takes effect quickly but is expensive. Many local suppliers will spread granulated lime for a reasonable fee.
The PH wasn’t your problem WR grows in piss poor soil.
I agree with RIT, 5.5 pH isn’t that bad, especially if you are growing ryegrass. I look at a lot of soil tests in the upstate and piedmont that are well below 5, and that really makes it difficult to grow most things. Your CEC is pretty low also, which usually indicates low organic matter. If it’s feasible, try adding some compost in addition to the lime to help increase organic matter and raise the CEC’s
How many acres are you planning to plant?
"The PH wasn’t your problem WR grows in piss poor soil."
This really isnt helpful unless you can point out what you think the problem is.Thx
"How many acres are you planning to plant?"
I have a 1/2 acre plot that clover is doing relatively decent for a fall planting. Rye didnt do well at all after the initial green-up. Its not possible to get a lime spreading truck to the plot. I will be using my tractor spreader again. Probably put down 1000lbs end of this month. Same on the compost. Not really possible for a dump truck to get back in there. Also, i am picking up 400lbs of 0-20-20 to spread as well.
I also have a second plot about 500yds away that is 1/3 acre of freshly cleared trees. Cereal Rye did better there, but still not very good. I plan to put out 500lbs of pellet lime there as well. Using Dolomitic pelletized. Also 100lbs of 0-20-20.
I was planning to plant buckwheat in both plot as well this spring.
I don’t know what your issue was. I don’t know anything about your soil type, when you planted, the planting conditions, your seeding rate, your method of planting, the soil condition when you planted, nor how much rain you received during the growing season. If you thought it was PH that caused your problem and it wasn’t that seems helpful that you will still need to look for answers. My apologies you feel it wasn’t.
There are so many variables when it comes to food plot failures and you didn’t mention any of them and to expect a full diagnosis of your issue from a soil test well let’s just say good luck. My soils are medium to heavy clay. Timing is everything when I plant and keeping the soil covered and things growing as much of the year as possible is a key to getting the plot I want. If I plant too early the soil is too wet. If I plant too late the soil is hard and crusted over. Makes a big difference if I broadcast or drill. Did you have weed competition? What prep did you do to control weeds before and after? Is your soil compacted? Have you ever had anything growing there before? Every lab seems to code things different. When I see soil code 4 on your test I think stoney soil which tends to lend itself to drought conditions because the water infiltration and drainage. Soil code 4 can represent 15-50% stone. I have some of that too. It has taken years of winter rye and clover to improve the soil. Again my apologies you thought it wasn’t very helpful but with what you provided I don’t have many answers for you. Do you have the invasive species Buckthorn? I do and can’t plant WR before September 1st or it gets some rust/fungus issues. You say your Winter Rye (hopefully you planted the grain not the grass) was terrible. What does that mean? Did it germinate and fizzle out, was it sparse? Spotty coverage? Just not enough information provided for the answers you are looking for.
RIT, Initially, In early September, I sprayed Gly on the entire plot, then broadcasted 100lbs of rye "grain" and 5lbs of Durana clover into it, no till. I then mowed it and left the thatch on top. The soil is very rocky. Nothing has been planted in the plot in 10 years at least. Last year it was saplings and briars. I brush hogged and mowed back in February. Put out 1000lb of pellet lime immediately. It rained about 3/4" within a week of me planting the clover and rye. We had a decent amount of rain in September. The rye came up great at first. Stayed green til early October , then started wilting. Couldve been from lack of rain. I then overseeded another 50lbs. We had rain shortly after. Pretty much the same result. I have a carpet of very short clover right now. I expect it to grow very well when spring comes. We will see. Clover is the goal anyway. As i said above, Buckwheat will be planted this spring to help the situation. The lower P&K amounts could have been the issue too i guess. First time i have had a problem growing rye in fall anywhere in SC.