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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 10-08-2008, 03:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Soil conditioner

I haven't known the reason why the growth of my bananas planted in the gound
has not been satisfactory, and I eventually checked the Ph value of the soil
and found it was Ph7 which was a little bit higher than the desirable value of
5.5~6.5.

There are several ways to reduce the Ph value, but I like to adopt the simplest
way to fertilize superphosphate of lime.

Do you think it will work?
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

Weird, I had the exact same question the other day and never got to post it when the forum went down. I recently tested all the soil around my house and found most of it to be a 7 and some samples gave an 8. Yikes.

Look forward to seeing what others do to drop the PH a bit in their soil.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

I use compost and barn sweepings (uncomposted) that makes my soil (primarily sand) a bit on the acid side.

You can use coffee grounds (after brewing, of course) that will slowly move your soil under 7. Use only regular coffee (not decaf, flavored, or other types)top sress or scratch it in.

Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

Scot and i both use Coffee Grounds here in Vegas are soil is around 7.3. also i do a slow deep watering every 7 to 10 days that helps wash the accumulated salts out of the soil. I'm vary careful about what kind of firt i use stay away for Miricalgrow as its almost all salt based. organics help acidify the soil throw decomposition. if you have a high volume RO system you could use some of that water the revers osmosis systems do drop the Ph quite a bit by removing salts. i have in the past supplemented my firt program by adding azalea acidifying food but id be careful using that they can be quite powerful and they usually have quite a bit of iron in them. if you decide to try the azalea food id get a vary slow reals kind so you don't shock the roots.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

Would a lot of Black Cow do the trick? Or am I going to need more than just a lot of manure/compost? I was going to put a layer of leaves and straw, and then the black cow on top of that - starting this fall and then by next spring hopefully would have some nice growing conditions for plants already in the ground plus those going back in.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

Black Kow is now 90%+ Silica (sand) the organics leach quickly as they are very fine.

Take 20 lbs, toss it in a five gallon bucket for 20 minutes with water running, you will have ash tray sand in short order.

The best ammendments are top-dress organics. Plants respond to these for many months. Try a quality worm casting, vermi-compost or simply learn to compost and add quality minerals.

If you need to adjust your PH up or down, do so naturally.

Plants, all plants respond far better to a balanced diet than coca-cola synthetics over the long run.

Add some Peat Moss, FE + S and some Sulfur, your water will likely drag it back up, so top dress with 22% Fe + S 9% and this will compensate for 100 days as a leachaette.

Pine bark works very well and has a high carbon / nitrogen ratio. Not the big nuggets, but a ground/coarse mix. You can mix it into the first couple of inches and it will leach over about 18 months. I'd start with 20% and test the PH at increments, your plants will grow much better this way.

Good Luck~!
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

Sheesh, I forgot to mention the easiest way possible...

2% muratic acid in solution, drench, repeat, drench, repeat.

Do not exceed 2%.

This is THE immediate fix until you can make these longer term adjustments.

Your local Pool Supply will hook your right up.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

I have noticed the areas I have layers of old cedar chips (with very old pinestraw under that) have grown much healthier plants.

Do any of the big box stores sell the veri-compost or wormcasting? I've never seen it. I just see a lot of Black Kow, Mushroom Compost, and Peat Moss (and I will use the later now).
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

I have bought worm castings in small bags, maybe 3 lbs, at a local Ace Hardware. You can try them, but Ace stores are individually owned and do not all carry the same items.
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil conditioner

LIME is to be avoided unless your pH is below 6.0 and you are trying to raise it.

SUPERPHOSPHATE is to be avoided unless you want to pay to bury in your ground what Dow Chemical and other manufacturers don't want to pay to dispose of.

Excess phosphorus in the ground and waterways is in the top 10 of environmental problems in urban areas and is the #1 environmental problem in some states, including Florida -- which has passed strict laws on the use of phosphorus. Plants do not use or need as much phosphorus as advertisers would lead you to believe.

If your soil is not clay, you can easily acidify it with a granular sulfur product: a 4-pound box is plenty for most homeowners. If you have clay soils, then use either a humus-based granular fertilizer or liquid humic acid. You'll find some ads for it on my web site below under soil conditioners, but you will also probably find similar products in your local area.

Be careful with granular sulfur. It slowly acidifies the soil. I highly recommend that you follow the directions on the box. Take measurements monthly and wait 6 months before deciding you haven't applied enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asacomm View Post
I haven't known the reason why the growth of my bananas planted in the gound
has not been satisfactory, and I eventually checked the Ph value of the soil
and found it was Ph7 which was a little bit higher than the desirable value of
5.5~6.5.

There are several ways to reduce the Ph value, but I like to adopt the simplest
way to fertilize superphosphate of lime.

Do you think it will work?
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