Signpost | Archives | News Page  | Global Calendar | Aberdeen Show | Newsgroup | Homepage

2001 Paul Barlow

Soil Analysis Results

As in recent years I sent off soil samples for analysis in Late March 2003. The reason for doing it at this particular time is for the application of lime (if required) to be done six weeks before the application of pre-planting fertilizers.

As you may have already seen from my garden page, I have four growing areas: two greenhouses and two garden areas (terraces). Terrace 2 is the most recently constructed and has been separately analysed once (1998). From 1999 the two terraces were combined into one sample for analysis, the results are therefore the same. In 2003 the two greenhouse samples were also combined and therefore how identical results for 2003 analysis.

From the results of soil analysis it is clear that the soil nutrient characteristics in the greenhouses is different to the outdoor areas due to the absence of winter leaching: nitrogen and potash levels should be higher in the greenhouses, which historically they have been, but in 2003 they are very similar. 

The following charts cover nitrogen, potash, phosphate and pH levels. All growing areas are shown on each chart.

Once again, 2003 soil analysis service provided by Hortibotanic UK  , you can email Barry Goss for more information.

The first chart shows the nitrogen content. This year we see convergence of all growing areas towards a starting point around 25/30ppm. In 2001 the two greenhouse areas are showing significantly higher nitrogen content than previous years. The 2002 and 2003 analysis shows greenhouse results comparable with those pre 2001.


Very high potash levels initially in the first few years of chrysanthemum cultivation, well above that advocated by Barrie Machin. It may be coincidental, but in recent years I have experienced very little damping of blooms. Over the years no potash has been added and this is reflected in a gradual reduction. 2003 analysis shows continuing reduction in all areas resulting in the need for potash application in the base dressing this year and also in the liquid feed formulation throughout the growing season.


All my growing areas tend to be low in phosphate. Regular application of bonemeal and superphosphate has done little to raise the level towards the 50ppm target. In 1998 bonemeal was applied at the end of the growing season,  in Spring 1999 a small amount of superphosphate was added pre-planting and a liquid feed containing phosphate was used in the early stages. Bonemeal was again added pre-planting in 2000.

In 2001 there is a significant jump in phosphate reading, possibly resulting from further superhosphate application. 2002 analysis shows a return to pre 2001 levels suggesting 2001 results are questionable. "003 results are similar in nature to those pre 2001 and some correction is necessary in both outdoor growing areas.


Arguably the key factor in the availability of the other nutritional elements. This picture that shows a generally consistent (and welcome) movement towards the target value of 7.0. 2002 results show ideal levels in greenhouse 1 and terrace but a significant drop in greenhouse 2. 2003 results place all growing areas above 6.5, almost ideal.


If you would like further information or wish to comment on this publication please send your e-mail to:

Navigation: Top of Page Homepage

Last updated on 30 April, 2003