Thursday, August 26, 2010

The dirt on turning soil into plants: August edition

OK, you got me:
"A plant's dry matter* consists mostly of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which the plant obtains by photosynthesis from air and water, not from the soil.  (Reference #1)"
But the other macronutrients*, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur, mostly come from soil solids.

As fascinating as soil is, much of my relationship with it is in the "benign neglect" category.  I'm hoping to change that!  But it is August and it is hot.  What to do in Central Texas?

Texas Agrilife Extension Service gives us a 2010 Travis County Planting Calendar, a list of vegetable varieties, and seed sources. Since today is August 26, the chart says I still have time to plant beans (lima and snap), cucumber, and summer squash.  And maybe I could squeeze in some Irish potatoes.  So I looked into my seed stash, and here is what I did:
How is your soil today?  How are you showing the soil your love?

Dry matter: "

the percentage of plant sample, which 

remains after all the water, has been removed (Reference: Cooperative Extension Service University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University)."

Macronutrients: "A chemical element necessary in large amounts (usually 50 mg/kg in the plant) for the growth of plants (Reference #1)."

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