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Post your experiences, questions and answers about growing wild-simulated ginseng

TOPIC: Soil Test Report

Soil Test Report 5 years 5 months ago #18075

Good evening fellows,
I just got back the last report from UT and I am puzzled at the results. The test show lower readings in this soil than what I received on my home site, and at the same time I have pictures underneath the report on my website showing pretty good growth on seedlings and 3-4 year old wild plants. When I look at the growth there compared to most of my plants at home, they look better. Understand, I'm not questioning the results of the test, I'm wondering why I'm getting better growth in a location that has a poorer reading than one that is better. There is a difference in at least 1000ft. in altitude but I did nothing to the soil in the mountain location and I've really tried to do every thing right at home. Take a look at these two reports and the plants between them and see if you have any thoughts.
Hugh

http://smokymountainflyguide.com/Choosing%20places%20to%20grow%20ginseng.htm

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 5 months ago #18076

Hugh,
I believe the seng might do well for a year or two but many of them will more than likely die off with a Calcium level of only 1200 PPA. I would recommend adding some Gypsum asap to get it to a level of 4000 to 6000 PPA if possible.

As far as your home site having a better reading, that is certainly possible.

Your other nutrients and minerals in the mountain woods are providing for a good growing environment. You just need some calcium soon.

Good luck.
Latt

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 5 months ago #18079

A soil test cannot tell you if ginseng will grow in any given location or not, regardless of how you amend it. It can only tell you if the soil is not suitable. Wild ginseng has the capacity to grow in a wide range of enviroments, soil types, calcium levels etc.

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 5 months ago #18080

I have a hillside right next to my home (where I have my seed producing bed) and some other wild root transplants growing.

The soil test from that location came back..

PH 5.4, P = 7, K = 74, Ca = 740, Mg 112

Ph is good, but everything else is quite low. The little 2 prong roots that I tansplanted there in the fall of 2009, some of them are nice sice 3 prongs now with decent berry pods. But now every winter I put a nice load of gypsum on them. So far so good.

Another hollow/hillside where I have a lot of wild similated planted tested like this..

PH 5.8, P 11, ,K 120, Ca 1472, Mg 236.

Those video's I posted not long ago showing my 2 year old beds, are in that location. I have been putting the gypsum to them too each winter and so far so good.

Good Luck to you !

TNhunter

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 5 months ago #18081

Good morning Hugh, I find it interesting that you think the soil test from your home area is better than the one you just got back from the mountain area. I agree that you have a higher calcium level at your home site, but the PH and potasium levels seem slightly better at the mountain patch. I think that other factors are probably more to blame though. differences in light exposure and moisture content of the ground. Some of the biggest healthiest wild plants I've ever found have been in areas where the ground retains moisture without wetness. Sometimes this has been the result of the natural mulch that accumulated in the area and sometimes just because of the makeup of the soil. Some soils just dont dry out as quickly as others.

From reading some of your other posts, I know that you have hunted wild seng. I'm sure that you've found places where you have followed plants up the contour of a hillside. I've always believed that this is due to light exposure (primarily, at least). I guess the point I'm getting at is to really look at all the other differences in the two locations. I don't think it is necessarilly differences in the soil tests.

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 5 months ago #18082

Fellows,
I really appreciate the quality of the responses that I have gotten. You can bet that many others are taking a hard look at this and I am sure trying to digest as much of it as I can. Even though I don't exactly understand every thing that I'm seeing and trying to take in; I know that I will continue to work on adjusting these soils to get the best results that I can. Two things are becoming clearer as time passes and that is that the ginseng plant can be pretty resilent and there is still a lot we don't quite understand about growing this beautiful little jewel.
I think I'm going to wait until dormancy to try to adjust the soils any more.

5Prong,
I think that I felt the soil at my house was better matched for seng because the mountain soil is lower in Calcium and Phosphorus and the UT recommendations for fertilizing were less for those two elements. Your certainly right about the PH and the Potassium levels. Since this soil sits on top of high grade limestone I was a little surprised at the low readings from the test.
Hugh

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 4 months ago #18093

Hugh- I have similar reports in that my home patch, much lower in elevation, are actually better in pH, Ca,and other values. However I am having much poorer germination and growth rates here at home, than the mountains.

It's puzzling. Perhaps something about the rarified atmosphere? I have a rodent problem here at home, however have seen woods mice there in the mountains, so my thinking is that is a equalizer as far as influences.

Bob Beyfuss- welcome to this forum!
Are you the same Beyfuss that is known for Ginseng research?

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 4 months ago #18100

I have collected samples and have studied the soil nutrient characteristics of hundreds of presumed wild ginseng populations in at least 20 different states. I am pretty sure that biotic factors such as soil mychorizzae and other living associations i.e. root exudates of various plant species, the nature and compositon of the organic matter componnets are far more important and more relevent that N, P, K, Ca, PH and other inorganic soil test data. Available moisture is also critical although I don't think soil texture is all that important, despite the propensity of heavier soils to retain more moisture than sand. Interspecific mychorizzal associations between accompanying species may also be a factor as is previous land use. Most of our northeastern forests today were formerly fields or pastures. They may or may not have harbored ginseng 200 years ago. Having said that, I will remind you all that the seed you are planting in the woods is probably derived from cultivated, usually field grown, gardens, 20 generations removed from the wild and subjected to artificial(human) selection. These cultivated plants will respond to common agronomic practices such as fetilizer etc. but they will not resemble wild ginseng unless the environment is suitable for wild ginseng.

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 4 months ago #18103

Bob- thanks for the input. Many of us here on this forum are taking a very sceintific approach towards the growing of our patches. I think that the collective here is really a pretty nice group, as well as having a good mix of politeness and sarcasm {me in paticular]. However most everyone else is very considerate!

I see that you email addy is Cornell. Do you have a book out about our favorite plant? I guess that I'm asking: How would someone like me study your studies? Well, without enrolling in your University....

For example, I've read and re-read Dr. Person's book. Got a lot out of it, actually... and it seems to be considered like the authority here on this site.

Anyway, I feel certain that having your input here will make it even more interesting.

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Re:Soil Test Report 5 years 4 months ago #18107

Bob,
My thanks to you also for joining in and commenting when some of these old duffs (like me) are stumped or perplexed by what we see happening in our patches. If we stay at it you will see a new generation of seng growers that will carry the growers that are coming on to a better level. We need all the help we can get and we appreciate your excellent suggestions and thoughts.
Hugh

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