What if my soils are deficient in a mineral…Do I need to add it?

Maybe in the beginning – but not in the usual ways you hear.  Add it to your compost.  Build Organic Matter.  Add it to your microbial brews of compost tea and let them cycle it.  Add it to the tea just before foliar spray with an agent like SOlu-PLKS that will bind the mineral to itself and make it easy for the microbes to rip off and cycle to the plants.

Keep the soil covered and keep returning that Organic Matter to the soil surface.

Grow cover crops with deep roots and ones that will harvest “deficient” minerals from deeper in the soil profile and make them available to your microbes and next generation plants.

Move animals across the land and let them eat, salivate, urinate and put milk foam and stomp in these minerals from the cover crop.   Naturally growing “weeds” can be that cover crop – and are usually the perfect ones to heal the land.

Find a way to work WITH and accelerate Nature’s healing processes.  Stop trying to CONTROL them.  Just give support.

Support the biological system

Microbes DO need minerals too – and can be shut down in their growth in a soil that is chemically treated, and abused causing a deficiency (loss of OM and humus).

But the soil itself if analyzed is not deficient – it is just that nutrient CYCLING is shut down.

Fertilizer companies (and therefore labs as their methods were developed to sell fertilizer)…want you to have all of the mineral a plant needs SOLUBLE or almost SOLUBLE at the time they test it.  This means that the next time it rains all that mineral that they want SOLUBLE goes into our water supply and pollutes our rivers and oceans – and threatens our groundwater if it has chemical reserves in it.  This is threatening our survival because our oceanic health has declined to a point where we may not recover.

If you don’t have the soluble mineral that the plant needs its entire life, then the chemistry labs ask you to apply that – at one or two applications!

And don’t forget that the chemistry labs only test for a handful of minerals at best – but that over 90+ minerals are ESSENTIAL to microbe and plant and HUMAN life – every day!  if any ONE of them is low it shuts down the health of the entire system!

A healthier approach wants a small soluble “gas tank”, to use that analogy, that is refilled by microbes often so not much is ever lost.

Given that their test that does not test the massive extractable mineral reserves of the soil, Most times as Elaine says = if you stop killing the microbes and put them back and support their growth with some BASIC principles (see NRCS Soil Principles)…you will see plants fully mineralized at all stages of growth.

As far as my experience leads me:

Soils – if you analyze the Total Extractable Nutrient (by grind and combustion of all elements) – are not deficient.  The soil chemistry tests done by labs only test the tip of the iceburg of total available soil mineral, and so say you need to buy fertilizer when most often you do not.  Soil Chemistry labs (the testing from which has declared our soil “deficient” in Se, only test for the soluble and some of the exchangeable pools – but not what is actually available if microbes are healthy and digesting the sand silt and clay with their enzymes.

Stop trying to fix it with a bag of chemical fertilizer applied on the soil.  And massive applying to soil of even “organic” mined mineral fertilizers is wasting money most often and is certainly not sustainable.

I agree that soils deficient in minerals may need help getting the microbial system started and revving up – but once going they don’t need any more applied Selenium, even in our “deficient” soils.  Plants grown in soils that are “deficient” in Se can have plenty of Se in their tissue tests if the microbes are functioning.

I have proof of this with a farm that I will present had 300 lbs deficient in K – and grew great crops with no soil K applied!  just microbes, microbial foods, solu-PLKS (which feeds microbes and holds minerals microbe-available), and a small amount of minerals for them through the leaf.

There are a lot of fallacies taught by soil scientists who run labs and are educated by systems that are funded by the chemical industries – who want to sell farmers minerals.

So, minerals make the rockin’ world go round – but how you access them is important.  Lets support and heal the NATURAL system.  We can not go against the laws of nature no matter how we might try!

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