In droughty times, many nutrients in the soil are rapidly depleted as plants attempt to adjust to adverse conditions. As we pull soil tests this fall, we find that Potassium is lower than desired on many test results.
I want to repeat an article about the necessity for Potassium that I wrote in September 2013:
“We’ve just finished a round of soil testing as we get ready for soil amending in another month. I will begin planning specific amending programs in the near future. Below is a brief discussion of one of the common issues we address.
Many soils in this region show a deficiency of Potassium, a key nutrient necessary for strong stems, dark green leaves, and exuberant blooms and fruits. In hot weather, plants quickly take up Potassium as they work to survive the heat. By fall, we’re often left with insufficient Potassium for the coming growing season.
What to do? Potassium needs to be added to the garden beds in the form of minerals such as Greensand, Potash or Kelp Meal. Our high fungal compost also supplies a healthy dose of Potassium. These materials stimulate biological activity and improve soil structure. We follow the NOFA Organic Land Care Standards when applying Potassium, as an oversupply can cause problems with soil balance. Sometimes it takes several years to bring the Potassium up to the proper level.
Fall is the best time for soil amending, when the roots of woody plants are putting on active growth. Vegetable, perennial and annual gardens appreciate this treatment, too, as the harvest season signals fall cleanup.”