Keith Kridler, Texas

Testing soils with turnips or radishes

January 29, 2012
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Categories: Bulb Information, Fertilizing, Growing Daffodils, Seeds, Soil

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These are pretty typical root, bulb and top growth for paper whites growing
in good soils. Notice that if you “top dress” or put granular fertilizer out
AFTER a daffodil blooms that by the time it dissolves and gets down to the
tips of the roots that these roots are probably dying back and won’t pull up
any of these nutrients till the following fall when root growth becomes
active again. Again the root tips are down over 16″ (40 CM) deep from the
top of the soil level. Top of the bulb to top of the leaf tips on these was
just over 48″ (122 CM)

The second photo is Purple Top Turnips. These were grown on three different
parts of our “daffodil” farm. All of the seeds came from the same package,
all were grown with the same amount of sun. All on similar soil type. All
received “normal” natural rainfall. The ONLY difference was in the soil PH,
amount of organic matter and all three had different amounts of NPK and
different micro nutrients.

The ones on the left were a little too high in nitrogen but low on
phosphorus and Potassium. The teeny turnips in the middle were on acid soils
about a 4.9 PH, low on all three NPK and the ones on the right were about
the minimum on NPK and high on most of the micro nutrients.

It is pretty easy to plant a few radish seeds or turnips seeds where you
have your best looking daffodils growing and then also plant some where your
“worst” daffodils are growing. These mature in a hurry in spring! Just by
looking at how these grow and produce a “bulb” will give you an idea of the
quality of your soils. You can also get some pretty good ingredients for
your salad!

This is NOT a substitute for getting a soil test!!! Just a fun experiment
while you wait for the daffodils to bloom! Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

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