Soil tests in the chicken pasture
I'm writing over on my homesteading blog last week and next about
balancing soil nutrients, but I thought I'd crunch the numbers about
our chicken pastures here. Let's take a look at the results:
I know this probably looks
like gobbledy-gook if you're not used to soil analysis, but there are
some interesting factors to pull out of the chart. First of all,
notice that the two pasture areas are quite a bit different. CP3
and CP4 have been within our core homestead from the start, so they
have several extra years of being mowed as lawn, compared to CP5 which
was woods until recently and still hasn't developed a solid sod.
Perhaps that's why the organic matter and CEC are quite a bit higher in
CP3 and CP4 than in CP5?
The next thing to look
at is the soil cations, especially the figures that
say "% sat". If you're following the lead of Steve
Solomon, you'll want
the ratios of Ca:Mg:K:Na to be 68:12:4:2, and it looks like CP3 and CP4
are closer to that ratio than CP5 is. Perhaps if I just kept
grazing and mowing, the soil would reach the optimal levels all by
Pounds of amendments to add to each set of pastures:
Our chicken waterer is perfect for pastures
since hydrated chickens hunt more bugs.
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