Asked May 6, 2013, 8:19 AM EDT

my test results show to add O lbs of potassium, o lbs of magnesium for 1000 sq ft.It recommends that I apply 22-4-4 fertilizer at a rate of 16:1. not sure of the ratio of 16;1 It says I need 17 lbs of fertilizer for 1,400 square feet. Also it recommends I apply 45 lbs of sulfur in the fall. Can I add sulfur now and plant in two weeks?

Livingston County Michigan

7 Responses

Without seeing your soil test, I can't understand what you are supposed to do. I don't even know what the test is for...lawns, fruit trees or a vegetable garden

Your soil test has a code on it of numbers and letters. Please send that to me so I can see what is going on. I can only assume that your soil pH is high if sulfur is recommended but it takes six months to a year to do its job so applying it a couple of weeks before planting may not be the best idea. I also doubt if you will be able to locate the 22-4-4. Please send me your code so I can be more helpful.

This is vegetable garden. Code was #9L8FC5. I also found 24-0-10. Would 11 lbs per 1,000 sq ft be ok?

My code is #9L8FC5. Vegetable garden. I found 24-0-10 fertilizer. Would 11lbs per 1,000 sq feet be ok?

In response to your answer my code is . #9L8FC5. My soil is for vegetable garden.
I did find fertilizer in 24-0-10. That is the closest to the 22-4-4 that I could find. If the application rate for your recommendation is 16 lbs per 1,000 sq ft. Would the application rate be the same with the 24-0-10 I bought.
I am confused on the fertilizer ratio of 6:1:0...does that mean phosphorus is 6 times higher than potassium and magnesium?
Thank you Gretchen,

You can use it but you are now applying more potassium to the soil than you need. Your ratio on your soil test is 6:1:0. You are also not applying any phosphorus.

The numbers are listed on a bag of fertilizer are in the order of- nitrogen: phosphorus: potassium or potash. You pH is astronomically high at 8.1. You want a soil pH for this garden to be about 6.5. The distance between those two sets of numbers is about from here to Saturn. Often, plants behave as if they are not getting any fertilizer because the pH is blocking the uptake for the plants.

Are you only looking for organic fertiizers? Will you use traditional fertilizers? How about 21-0-0 as your nitrogen source and bone meal for your phosphorus source? It would be two separate fertilizers but it will be closer to what you need that 24-0-10. 21-0-0 is ammonium sulfate and will add nitrogen while reducing your soil pH. If that is agreeable to use the 21-0-0 and the bone meal, let me know and I can give you numbers.

At the feed store they sold me the 24-0-10. They did say I would need something else to add to it, probably for the phosphorus.. So that is the fertilizer I have to work with. What would you recommend for the phosphorus?
It has been probably 15 years since I have had my soil tested at MSU. Back then it was 6.3 soil and my garden was awesome. It still is but not as good as then. Also, I have been placing my ashes from my wood stove in my garden for the last 15 years. Could that be the reason my ph has shot up so high. I use to put manure in it as well, but stopped that about 7 years ago.....
Looks like I am back to square on almost, just like 35 years ago when I first turned over this soil.
thank you,

Your wood ashes might have added to the potassium but it really ruined the soil pH by raising it too high. If you are planning to use the product you have, then use four pounds of bone meal per 1000 sq. feet for the phosphorus.

Your soil pH will not change at all and your garden will have difficulties because of the high pH. That's where you are. The soil pH is too high for a decent garden...8.1 vs. the 6.5 you should have. Don't be too suprised that the vegetables struggle.