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OrganiCalc is designed to be an aid in growing nutrient dense food. However, it is not applicable for certain circumstances. And for some soils, there is additional advice to be given beyond the mineral recommendations OrganiCalc provides.
Check our recommendations on this page for how to test for and what to do about fizzy soil.
If you are growing blueberries, rhododendrons, potatoes or other such plants, you may not want to use OrganiCalc. This method balances the elements in the soil, resulting in a slightly acidic pH. Your acid loving plants may do well in balanced soil, but if you are trying for low pH, don’t use OrganiCalc.
These recommendations are for growing nutrient dense food, not for pasture. Aside from the expense of bringing large areas up to these levels, herbivores are very sensitive to changes in taste. Mineral application limits are much lower for pastures. Consult an analyst experienced in pasture management.
Usually this happens after a few years of soil mineralization. Your soil settles to a point where the plants are growing very well. You don’t want to disturb this equilibrium, or lose valuable (cation) nutrients. You want to add only enough of the sulfur anion to grow a good crop — 45 to 70 lbs/acre.
In OrganiCalc, we target an initial ratio of 68% Ca to 12% Mg. We want to keep the Mg low, because it is hard to get rid of Mg once it is in. Also, we put the Ca at the high end, so it will displace excess cations. These initial targets work very well in practice.
If your ground is sandy, you will want more Mg and less Ca. If you have clay soil, you will want less Mg and more Ca. If you have achieved equilibrium and your plants are growing very well, the Ca:Mg ratio you actually have is more important than a theoretical ratio. There are actually broad ranges of balanced Ca:Mg ratios. Ca% + Mg% should equal 78% to 82%. The Ca% can be between 60 and 70%. The Mg% should be between 10% and 20%.
When your soil is mineral-balanced, it’s time to really focus on the biology. Keep your organic matter below 30%; 5% is a nice number where summer is hot; 8 to 9 % is a good number where summers are coolish, such as in the Maritime northwest.
Finally, if your soil is otherwise balanced and you have excess Ca, don’t try to fix it; leave it alone.
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