A Guide to Soil Testing and Fertilizer Recommendation for Home Gardeners in Alabama

Leonard Githinji, Ph.D. Assistant Professor / Extension Horticulture Specialist, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program, Tuskegee, Alabama

Chapter 1: Introduction
The goal of this soil testing and fertilizer recommendation guide is to provide home gardeners and Extension agents with the necessary tools for better understanding and interpretation of soil test reports. This is necessary to more accurately determine fertilizer rates and any need for soil amendments, such as compost. The data in these reports are only worthwhile if the tested soil sample accurately represents the sampled garden; therefore, a summary of sampling methods is provided. Efficient use of fertilizers is a major factor to consider in any program designed to bring about maximum profits for producers, lower cost for consumers and enhance environmental protection. Home gardeners tend to use increasing quantities of fertilizers in a bid to increase yields to the desired levels. However, the amounts and kinds of fertilizers required for the same crop vary from soil to soil, and even field to field on the same soil. The use of fertilizers without first testing the soil is like taking medicine without first consulting a physician to find out what is needed. It has been documented by many scientists that fertilizers increase yields and many home gardeners seem to be aware of this. However, applying the right kind of fertilizer and the right quantity needed, and at the right time to ensure maximum profit is the real problem. Without a fertilizer recommendation based upon a soil test, a gardener may be applying too much of a little needed plant food element and too little of another element which is actually the principal factor limiting plant growth. This not only means an uneconomical use of fertilizers, but in some cases crop yields actually may be reduced because of use of the wrong kinds or amounts, or improper use of fertilizers.

Chapter 2: Soil Areas of Alabama
There are seven major soil areas in Alabama that are distinctly different from each other based mainly on the parent materials these soils were formed from (Figure 1). The parent material affects the fertility status of soil in these areas. The major soil areas are in turn made up of small units called soil series. A soil series is defined as a part of the landscape with similarities among its properties such as color, texture, arrangement of soil horizons, and depth to bedrock (Mitchell and Loerch, 1999). The soil areas are Limestone Valleys and Uplands, Appalachian Plateau, Piedmont Plateau, Coastal Plain, Blackland Prairie, Major Flood Plains and Terraces and Coastal Marshes and Beaches: i. Limestone Valleys and Uplands Soils in this area were formed mainly in residuum weathered from limestones. Topography is generally level to undulating and elevation of about 600 feet. Most of the land is open and cropped to cotton or soybeans. Most of the soils of the uplands are derived from cherty limestones with elevation of about 700 feet, and topography ranges from level to very steep. Cotton and soybeans are major row crops. Much of the area is used for pasture or forest. ii. Appalachian Plateau

Most of the soils are derived from sandstone or shale. They have a loamy subsoil and a fine sandy loam surface layer. Most slopes are less than 10 percent. Elevation is about 1,300 feet. Corn, soybean, potatoes, and tomatoes are major crops. iii. Piedmont Plateau Most of the soils in this area are derived from granite, hornblende, and mica schists. Elevations in most areas range from 700 to 1,000 feet, although in the Talladega Hills, elevations range from 900 to 2,407 feet (highest point in Alabama). Topography is rolling to steep. Most rolling areas were once cultivated but are now in pasture or forest.

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iv. Coastal Plain Most of the soils in this area are derived from marine and fluvial sediments eroded from the Appalachian and Piedmont plateaus. The area consists of Upper and Lower Coastal Plains. Topography is level to very steep. Narrow ridgetops and broad terraces are cultivated, but most of the area is in forest. Elevations range from 200 to 1,000 feet. v. Blackland Prairie This area of central and western Alabama is known as the "Black Belt" because of the dark surface colors of many of the soils. These soils were derived from alkaline, Selma chalk, or acid marine clays. Acid and alkaline soils are intermingled throughout the area. Sumter soils, which are typical of the alkaline soils, are clayey throughout and have a dark- colored surface layer and a yellowish colored subsoil. These clayey soils contain a high percentage of smectitic clays and they shrink and crack when dry and swell when wet. The area is level to undulating. Elevation is about 200 feet. Soybeans is the main crop. Most of these soils are used for timber production and pasture. vi. Major Flood Plains and Terraces The soils are not extensive but important when they are found along streams and rivers. They are derived from alluvium deposited by the streams. A typical area consists of cultivated crops on the nearly level terraces and bottomland hardwood forest on the flood plain of streams. vii. Coastal Marshes and Beaches The soils are not extensive. They are on nearly level and level bottomlands, tidal flats, and beaches along the Mobile River, Mobile Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the soils are deep and very poorly drained. Elevation is from sea level to a few feet above sea level.

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Figure 1: Soil areas of Alabama

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Chapter 3: Nutrient Status of Alabama Soils
Soils in Alabama have been in continuous production for more than 100 years (Adams and Mitchell, 2000). Some have been fertilized regularly throughout that period and so the addition of nutrients to those soils maybe not only a waste of resources but could lead to environmental pollution. Most soils have not been fertilized adequately to replenish the nutrients lost by crop uptake, leaching and erosion. Therefore, most soils in Alabama require fertilizers for optimum crop production (Mask and Mitchell Jr., 1988). Devoid of fertilizers, Alabama soils exhibit low plant nutrients status since most of the parent materials from which they were formed were low in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Furthermore, Alabama's relatively high temperatures (mean annual temperature = 63° F) and high rainfall (mean annual rainfall = 60 inches) have caused release of nutrients which are either lost from fields through leaching or runoff. This is especially common where soils have been cropped continuously and therefore the soil surface has been allowed to undergo erosion (Adams and Mitchell, 2000). The soil organic matter (SOM) content in Alabama soils is low because of rapid decomposition under high temperature and rainfall conditions (Adams and Mitchell, 2000), leading to low cation exchange capacity (CEC) and hence low nutrient status of soils. Therefore, unless these major nutrients have been built up in soils by past fertilization and management practices, soils will need fertilizer for sustainable production (Adams and Mitchell, 2000). Nutrient needs were originally determined by thousands of simple fertilizer experiments conducted on farms throughout the State (Adams and Mitchell, 2000). Prior to the establishment of soil testing laboratories in Alabama, fertilizer recommendations were based on complicated experiments conducted on substations and experiment fields located on the major soils throughout the State. This system is no longer adequate because soils have been altered by past management. Properly managed soils have become more productive over the past 40 years as fertilizer use has increased. Some nutrients may have been depleted while others have been built up in soils, depending on amounts supplied in fertilizers and amounts removed in harvested crops. General fertilizer recommendations based on soil type are no longer practical because past management practices now have more influence on soil fertility than does soil type. Soils

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separated only by a fence may differ more in fertility than the original unfertilized soils located in the different regions of the State. Soil tests have been developed to determine the fertility level of individual soils. This has required much field and laboratory research at many locations over the years to calibrate test results with response to fertilizers in the field. Reliable soil tests based on such research are now the only practical basis for determining the needs of specific crops on the many soil situations now existing in Alabama (Adams and Mitchell, 2000).

Chapter 4: Soil Testing
What is Soil Testing?

Soil testing is a process by which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc) are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their "plant available" content within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. A soil test also measures soil pH, humic matter and exchangeable acidity. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much to apply.

Objective of a Soil-testing Program

The basic objective of a soil-testing program is to give gardeners a service leading to better and more economic use of fertilizers and better soil management practices for increasing agricultural production. High crop yields cannot be obtained without applying sufficient fertilizers to overcome existing deficiencies. Fertilizer recommendation from a soil testing laboratory is based on carefully conducted soil analyses and the results of upto-date crop research, and it therefore provides very scientific information available for fertilizing that crop in that field. Each recommendation is based on a soil test taking into account the values obtained by these accurate analyses, the research work so far conducted on the crop in the particular soil areas, and the management practices of the concerned gardener. The soil test with the resulting fertilizer recommendation is therefore the actual connecting link between agronomic research and its practical application to the 5

farmers’ fields. Although soil test and recommendations are very important for optimal crop production, they are not the only practices recommended to the gardeners. Good crop yields are the result of the application of other good management practices, such as proper tillage, efficient water management, good seed, and adequate plant protection measures. Soil testing is essential and is the first step in obtaining high yields and maximum returns from the money invested in fertilizers. According to Mitchell (1999), most Alabama soils are acid, with pH is usually below 5.5. This low pH affects most garden plants and lime is recommended to raise the pH to around 6.5. Most garden plants do best in a slightly acid soil (pH 6.0 to 7.0). A soil sample must be taken at the right time and in the right way. Remember that any recommendations based on a soil test can be no better than the soil sample from which they are made. It is important to know that every square foot of soil can be different. Soil pH and nutrients vary both across the surface of the soil and also with the depth of the soil. Growers are urged to take great care to be sure that the sample submitted represents as accurately as possible the area from which it is taken. The tools used, the area sampled, the depth and the correct mix of the sample, the information provided, and packaging all influence quality of the sample. What to consider when collecting soil samples: Soil Sampling

To obtain meaningful and accurate soil test results, it is important that you collect soil samples from the correct depth and from multiple locations within your yard and garden. You should schedule soil sampling to allow adequate time for soil analysis (~1-2 weeks) and fertilizer purchase prior to application. To obtain a representative soil sample, a minimum of ten samples should be collected and mixed from both your garden and each 1,000 square feet (sq ft) of lawn. Be sure to remove any mulch or lawn thatch before collecting your soil samples. If there is a visual or textural difference from one side of your garden or lawn to the other, submit separate samples. Samples may be submitted moist or dry. If you decide to soil sample in the fall or mid-summer, it is best to wait at

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least 2 months after fertilization to give the fertilizer a chance to dissolve, disperse and be used by plants. Soil samples are typically collected using hand probes, hand augers (Figure 2), spades or shovels. Unless it is the only option, you should avoid shovels and spades because it is difficult to obtain the same amount of soil from each depth and location, possibly biasing results. Hand augers are useful, especially when sampling at different depths. An alternative tool to collect a 0 to 6 inch soil sample is a bulb planter (available at most gardening stores). Preferably, many Extension offices have hand probes or augers and may either lend you the tools or assist you in soil sampling. Tools should be cleaned between each garden or area sampled and stored away from fertilizers to prevent contamination.

Sampling Time

It is recommended that a soil sample be taken a few months before starting any new garden. If the soil test report recommends liming, you will have enough time to apply it and have it adjust the soil pH before you plant.

Sampling Depth
For home gardens, soil samples are generally collected 0 to 6 inches from the soil surface. In some cases, soil samples may, in addition, been taken below the 6 inch depth. Because nitrogen (N) (in the form of nitrate-N), sulfate-sulfur (sulfate-S) and chloride (Cl) are very soluble and can more readily move down into the soil than other nutrients, deeper soil samples may be collected and analyzed for these nutrients.

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Sampling equipment

Use a soil probe or auger (Fig 2), spade, hand garden trowel, or shovel to collect samples. Avoid using brass, bronze, or galvanized tools as they will contaminate samples with nutrients such as copper, iron and zinc. Figure 2: Soil probe and auger Sample each unique area separately

Each sample should represent only one soil type or area and for each unique area (Fig. 3). If one area of your yard seems healthy and another has bare or yellow areas, sample healthy and unhealthy areas separately even if both are vegetable or flower gardens, etc.

Sampling Pattern

Sample in a zigzag pattern throughout each sampling area; this avoids the systematic error of following a pattern established for instance by cultivation equipment and hence introducing a bias. Garden and cultivated areas should be sampled as deeply as soil is tilled.

Take Composite Samples

Due to differences in soil properties over short distances, it is important that you take a composite sample of the area to be tested. A composite sample is a collection of 15 to 20 uniform cores or slices of soil taken from random spots in a garden. For an accurate test, place the samples from a given area into a bucket. Then mix this soil well and place about 1 pint of the mixture into a soil sample box. Fill the soil test for completely.

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Analyzing the sample

This is the chemical extraction and testing procedure used by the laboratory. Although laboratories may use different extraction and analysis techniques, the procedures used must be correlated to plant growth and nutrient uptake. In addition, quality control by the staff is essential for reliable and accurate results.

Soil Testing Laboratories

The time spent selecting a good laboratory can quickly pay for itself in the form of accurate fertilizer recommendations and desired plant responses. Laboratories that are part of the North American Proficiency Testing Program (NAPTP) should provide you with results from their analysis of NAPTP soil samples that have known nutrient levels. A fairly high degree of variability has been observed among laboratories (Jacobsen et al., 2002); therefore, it is recommended that soil samples be sent to the same laboratory each year to ensure greater consistency. A list of analytical laboratories in the region may be found in the Appendix. Some laboratories have standard packages that indicate what nutrients and other soil parameters are tested. It is recommended that, at a minimum, N, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), O.M., soluble salts and pH be tested.

Interpreting the analysis

The analytical results must be related to plant growth or yield. Extensive soil test calibration research on the crops and soils of Alabama has been conducted and will continue. For each nutrient, crop, and soil, a good calibration must show that plant growth, yield, or nutrient uptake increases as the level of an extractable nutrient increases up to a point where further increases in soil test levels fail to show significant or economical increases of plant growth or yield.

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Using the results

When growers receive a soil test report and appropriate recommendations, they must make certain practical decisions which may result in a modification of the given recommendation. Some of these decisions may involve the following:

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. x.

Using readily available fertilizers or ordering custom blended fertilizer. Applying the same fertilizer grade to all fields or group of fields. Ordering separate fertilizers for each field (or portion of a field) sampled. Using premium fertilizers which contain secondary and micronutrients. Applying only those micronutrients specifically recommended for the crop. Splitting fertilizer and/or lime applications. Using starter fertilizers and foliar fertilizers to supplement recommendations. Modifying nitrogen recommendations based upon comments on report. Applying fertilizers with other materials such as herbicides. Modifying recommendations based upon current economic conditions.

These and many other considerations affect how the soil test results are used, and is a decision the grower or crop advisor must make.

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Figure 3: An illustration of the procedure for taking soil sample (adopted from Mitchell (1999).

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Chapter 5: Nutrient Recommendations for Alabama Garden Crops
(Adopted from Mitchell (1999)

A. Organic Vegetable Garden
Phosphorus Potassium Very high High Medium Low Very low Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low Very Low Comments 1 - Soil analyses indicate very high or excessive P. Additional organic amendments will add more P. Use materials high in N but low in P such as cottonseed meal (6-3-1), fish meal (10-6-1), or blood meal (13-2-1). Legume cover crops can also provide some N to subsequent crops. 2 - Organic materials generally provide less K compared to N and P. K can be supplied with "green sand" (6% K2O ), or potassium magnesium sulfate (18% K2O, 11% Mg, 22% S). Apply enough material to supply one to three pounds K2O per 1,000 square feet. 3 - Soil analyses indicate adequate K and P for most vegetables. To supply N for nonlegumes, use materials high in N but low in K such as cottonseed meal (6-3-1), fish meal (10-6-1), or blood meal (13-2-1). Legume cover crops can also provide some N to subsequent crops. 4 - P is adequate for most crops. 1 3 6 6,7 6,7 1 3 6 6,7 6,7 1,2 5,5,2 6,2 6,7,2 6,7,2 1,2 4,5,2 6,2 6,7,2 6,7,2 1,2 4,5,2 6,2 6,7,2 6,7,2

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5 - To supply N for non-legumes use materials high in N but low in P such as cottonseed meal (6-3-1), fish meal (10-6-1), or blood meal (13-2-1). Legume cover crops can also provide some N to subsequent crops. 6 - Most manures and composts will provide some N and P. Apply enough material to provide approximately three pounds N and three pounds P2O5 per 1,000 square feet during the growing season. 7 - Low soil P can be corrected by using bone meal (1-15-0) or rock phosphate (2-35% P2O5 ) to provide two to three pounds P2O5 per 1,000 square feet. 8 - Final comment. Most organic materials contain low levels of available nutrients. However, because large quantities are often used to build soil organic matter and improve soil physical characteristics, soil nutrients, (i.e. P) often build to excessive levels. Nutrient availability (especially N) depends upon how fast the organic matter breaks down in the soil. Following are typical analyses (percent N-P2O5-K2O) of some common materials used as soil amendments in organically grown gardens:

B. Home Vegetable Garden
Phosphorus Very high High Potassium Medium Low Very low

Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low Very Low 120-0-01 120-60-05 120-0-602 120-60-606 120-0-1203 120-60-1207 120-0-1804 120-60-1808 120-0-1804 120-60-1808

120-120-09 120-120-6010 120-120-12011 120-120-18012 120-120-18012 120-180-013 120-180-6014 120-180-12015 120-180-18016 120-180-18016 120-180-013 120-180-6014 120-180-12015 120-180-18016 120-180-18016

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Comments One ton limestone per acre is approximately equivalent to 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. For cauliflower, broccoli, and root crops on sandy soils apply one pound boron (B) per acre. For strawberries apply about one-third of the fertilizer in September, one-third about 90 days before ripening, and one-third after harvest.
1

- Per 100 feet of row apply 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate) at planting and

side-dress with 0.4 pound N.
2

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 2.3 pounds muriate of potash (one quart). Per 100 feet

of row apply 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N.
3

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 4.6 pounds muriate of potash (two quarts). Per 100

feet of row apply 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N.
4

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast seven pounds muriate of potash (three quarts). Per 100

feet of row apply 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N.
5

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 7.5 pounds superphosphate (four quarts). Per 100 feet

of row apply three pounds 13-13-13 (1.5 quarts) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).
6

- Per 100 feet of row apply five pounds of 13-13-13 (2.5 quarts) at planting and

sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).
7

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 2.3 pounds muriate of potash (one quart). Per 100 feet

of row apply three pounds 13-13-13 (1.5 quarts) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).

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8

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 4.6 pounds muriate of potash (two quarts). Per 100

feet of row apply three pounds 13-13-13 (1.5 quarts) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).
9

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 15 pounds superphosphate (eight quarts). Per 100 feet

row apply three pounds 13-13-13 (1.5 quarts) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N.
10

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 7.5 pounds superphosphate (four quarts). Per 100 feet

of row apply three pounds 13-13-13 (1.5 quarts) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).
11

- Per 100 feet of row apply four pounds 13-13-13 (two quarts) at planting and sidedress

with 2.5 pounds 13-13-13 (five cups).
12

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 2.3 pounds muriate of potash (one quart). Per 100 feet

of row apply four pounds 13-13-13 (two quarts) at planting and sidedress with 2.5 pounds 13-13-13 (five cups).
13

- Per 1,000 square feet boradcast 20 pounds superphosphate (11 quarts). Per 100 feet of

row apply 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N.
14

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 7.5 pounds superphosphate (4 quarts). Per 100 feet of

row apply four pounds 13-13-13 (two quarts) at planting and sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).
15

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 7.5 pounds superphophate (four quarts). Per 100 feet

of row apply four pounds 13-13-13 (two quarts) at planting and sidedress with 2.5 pounds 13-13-13 (five cups).
16

- Per 1,000 square feet broadcast 35 pounds 4-12-12 at planting. Per 100 feet of row

sidedress with 0.4 pound N (one pint ammonium nitrate).

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Final remark. For small areas, comments give examples of ways to meet the fertilizer recommendations. Other fertilizer grades or materials that supply equivalent amounts of plant nutrients may be used with equal results. If you need assistance in calculating amounts of other materials to use contact your county agent or fertilizer supplier. K requirement level

2

N rate PK

120

Lime code no.

1

code no.

21

Mg code no.

2

C. Commercial Vegetable Crops
(Crop Code No. 61) Phosphorus Very high High Potassium Medium Low Very low

Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low Very Low 120-0-0 120-0-60 120-0-120 120-0-180 120-0-180

120-60-0 120-60-60 120-60-120 120-60-180 120-60-180 120-120-0 120-120-60 120-120-120 120-100-180 120-120-180 120-180-0 120-180-60 120-180-120 120-180-180 120-180-180 120-180-0 120-180-60 120-180-120 120-180-180 120-180-180

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For more accurate fertilizer recommendations, use the equations below for your soil group: Fertilizer Recommendation Formula P2O5 Soil Group* 1&2 3 4 Equation** Y = 180 - 1.91X Y = 180 - 3.16X Y = 180 - 1.33X K2O Soil Group* 1 2 3 4 Equation** Y = 190 - 1.08X Y = 190 - 0.98X Y = 190 - 0.53X Y = 200 - 0.52X

* - Use Soil Group from soil test report, if available. ** - Y = pounds fertilizer P2O5 or K2O per acre required; X = soil test P or K Comments For cauliflower, broccoli, and root crops, apply one pound of B per acre. K requirement level

2

N rate PK

120

Lime code no.

1

code no.

18

Mg code no.

2

17

D. Tomatoes
(Crop Code No. 62) Phosphorus Very high High Potassium Medium Low Very low

Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low 120-0-0 120-0-60 120-0-120 120-0-180 120-0-180

120-60-0 120-60-60 120-60-120 120-60-180 120-60-180 120-120-0 120-120-60 120-120-180 120-120-180 120-120-180 120-180-0 120-180-60 120-180-120 120-180-180 120-180-180

Very Low 120-180-0 120-180-60 120-180-120 120-180-180 120-180-180

For more accurate fertilizer recommendations, use the equations below for your soil group: Fertilizer Recommendation Formula P2O5 Soil Group* 1&2 3 4 Equation** Y = 180 - 1.91X Y = 180 - 3.16X Y = 180 - 1.33X Soil Group* 1 2 3 4 K2O Equation** Y = 190 - 1.08X Y = 190 - 0.98X Y = 190 - 0.53X Y = 200 - 0.52X

* - Use Soil Group from soil test report, if available. ** - Y = pounds fertilizer P2O5 or K2O per acre required; X = soil test P or K

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Comments Apply 1,000 pounds of gypsum per acre to tomatoes before planting. (Where Ca is rated low and no lime is recommended.) Apply 500 pounds of gypsum per acre to tomatoes before planting. (Where Ca is rated medium and no lime is recommended.) K requirement level

2

N rate PK

120

Lime code no.

2

code no.

18

Mg code no.

2

E. Irish Potatoes (Crop Code No. 64) Phosphorus Very high High Potassium Medium Low Very low

Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low 120-50-0 120-50-100 120-50-150 120-50-200 120-50-200 120-100-0 120-100-100 120-100-150 120-100-200 120-100-200 120-150-0 120-150-100 120-150-150 120-150-200 120-150-200 120-200-0 120-200-100 120-200-150 120-200-200 120-200-200

Very Low 120-200-0 120-200-100 120-200-150 120-200-200 120-200-200

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For more accurate fertilizer recommendations, use the equations below for your soil group: Fertilizer Recommendation Formula P2O5 Soil Group* 1&2 3 4 Equation** Y = 200 - 1.59X Y = 200 - 2.64X Y = 200 - 1.11X Soil Group* 1 2 3 4 K2O Equation** Y = 210 - 0.88X Y = 210 - 0.59X Y = 210 - 0.43X Y = 220 - 0.44X

* - Use Soil Group from soil test report, if available. ** - Y = pounds fertilizer P2O5 or K2O per acre required; X = soil test P or K Comments Where Irish potatoes are grown in rotation with other crops, follow lime recommendation for Irish potatoes. K requirement level

2

N rate PK

120

Lime code no.

4

code no.

17

Mg code no.

3

20

F. Watermelons, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Lima Beans, Snap Bunch Beans, Squash, and Okra (Crop Code No. 65) Phosphorus Very high High Potassium Medium Low Very low

Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low Very Low 80-0-0 80-40-0 80-80-0 80-0-40 80-0-80 80-0-120 80-0-120

80-40-40 80-40-80 80-40-120 80-40-120 80-80-40 80-80-80 80-80-120 80-80-120

80-120-0 80-120-40 80-120-80 80-120-120 80-120-120 80-120-0 80-120-40 80-120-80 80-120-120 80-120-120

For more accurate fertilizer recommendations, use the equations below for your soil group: Fertilizer Recommendation Formula P2O5 Soil Group* 1&2 3 4 Equation** Y = 120 - 1.27X Y = 120 - 2.11X Y = 120 - 0.89X Soil Group* 1 2 3 4 K2O Equation** Y = 130 - 0.72X Y = 130 - 0.48X Y = 130 - 0.35X Y = 130 - 0.35X

* - Use Soil Group from soil test report, if available. ** - Y = pounds fertilizer P2O5 or K2O per acre required; X = soil test P or K

21

K requirement level Lime code no. Mg code no.

2

N rate PK code no.

80

1 2

19

G. Pepper, Pimiento
(Crop Code No. 67) Phosphorus Very high High Potassium Medium Low Very low

Pounds N-P2O5-K2O per acre Very high High Medium Low 100-0-0 100-0-60 100-0-120 100-0-180 100-0-180

100-60-0 100-60-60 100-60-120 100-60-180 100-60-180 100-120-0 100-120-60 100-120-120 100-120-180 100-120-180 100-180-0 100-180-60 100-180-120 100-180-180 100-180-180

Very Low 100-180-0 100-180-60 100-180-120 100-180-180 100-180-180

22

For more accurate fertilizer recommendations, use the equations below for your soil group: Fertilizer Recommendation Formula P2O5 Soil Group* 1&2 3 4 Equation** Y = 180 - 1.91X Y = 180 - 3.16X Y = 180 - 1.33X Soil Group* 1 2 3 4 K2O Equation** Y = 190 - 1.08X Y = 190 - 0.98X Y = 190 - 0.53X Y = 200 - 0.52X

* - Use Soil Group from soil test report, if available. ** - Y = pounds fertilizer P2O5 or K2O per acre required; X = soil test P or K

K requirement level

2

N rate PK

100

Lime code no.

2

code no.

18

Mg code no.

2

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REFERENCES Adams, J.F., and C.C. Mitchell Jr. 2000. Soil test nutrient recommendations for Alabama crops: Nutrient recommendations for cotton. www.ag.auburn.edu/agrn//croprecs/CropRecs/cc10.html. Dinkins, P. 2008. Home Garden Soil Testing & Fertilizer Guidelines. Montana State University Extension. MT200705AG Revised /08. http://msuextension.org/publications/YardandGarden/MT200705AG.pdf Mask P. L., and C. C. Mitchell, Jr.1988. Alabama Production Guide for Non-Irrigated Corn. (ANR-503). Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Auburn University and USDA-NRCS. Mitchell, Jr., C.C. and J. C. Loerch. 1999. Soils of Alabama (ANR-340 Revised Jan1999). Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Auburn University and USDANRCS.

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