A Problem With High Soluble Salts and Calcium?
Extension Agent - Sustainable Agriculture
Issue/Alert Affecting Crop: A Leon County grower had some soil delivered to amend the native hard clay soil for vegetable production, and possibly some on blueberries which will be planted in spring . Sulfur was added to imported soil a few months ago to bring down the pH.
Garden yields are dependent upon a good nutrient balance. Photo Credits: Les Harrison
A detailed soil test was conducted by one of the private labs. Both samples were a mix of about 50/50 with the native clay and the sulfur treated soil that was hauled in. The test results concerned the owner in two specific areas, the soluble salts and the calcium (Ca).
The blueberry sample shows the soluble salts as 2.01 mmhos/c and the Ca shows 3954 lbs/acre. The vegetable sample has soluble salts measure of 0.54 mmhos/c and Ca measure of 2183 lbs/acre.
Is the soluble salt reading and Ca reading too high and, if so, is there a fix to the situation? Any recommendations?
What Does The Specialist Say: There is not much that can be practically done about it, so do not be overly concerned. The soluble salt level will change will rainfall, breakdown of organic matter or added fertilizer. Cannot really get rid of the Ca since it is held on the soil colloid, dropping the pH very low and trying to leach is not practical and would result in poor growth. Stephen M. Olson, Ph.D., Professor of Horticultural Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center