What Farmers And Gardeners Should Know About Soil Testing – Part 2 CEC, OM, Base Saturation and Nutrients



Laboratory based testing helps you build quality soils for your farm and garden.  This is because tests provide information about what your soils need, rather than simply highlighting what your fertilizer distributor has on sale. But the numbers on a lab report are only valuable if you know how to interpret them.  In this episode, host Mary Lucero continues the discussion that began in episode 6 by defining:

  • the meaning of CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity), and values you should strive for
  • How to raise a low CEC value.
  • how much organic matter (abbreviated as OM, or SOM) a soil needs to sustain biological properties that help your plants grow.
  • what the Base Saturation Percent tells you.
  • the rationale for professional soil laboratory analysis.
  • what macronutrients and micronutrients your plants need to survive
  • why trace elements that are not considered nutrients might have value to your plant
  • how to ensure that you are adding safe levels of unmeasured trace elements.

Once you understand these concepts, and those we shared in episode 6, you can see for yourself how soil testing helps you build quality soils on your farm or in your garden. With quality soils, you can grow healthier plants that contain more nutrients.  You may also see higher yields, and you will have less reason to use toxic pesticides.  With higher yields and fewer expenses, you should see higher returns on your investment.


Building Better Soils Online Course
Microbial Analysis for Growers Online Course
USDA-NRCS Flow Chart to Determine Soil Texture by Feel (free download from unaffiliated public website)
NAPT Participating Laboratories (unaffiliated website)

This soil revitalizer contains mineral rich humic acids that you can use to raise the CEC and trace mineral content of your garden soil.  You can order garden sized quantities here.  Contact us directly for farm scale volumes.

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