Are Trace Minerals Necessary?
Trace minerals are an important part of soil amendment that is often overlooked and sometimes overused. Using 3 Sisters First Amendment, the trace minerals are added into your mix at amounts that promote a plant's growth.
What is Clean Water?
Your water is the key to successful growth.
Water pH should be around Neutral 6.0 to 7.0.
Pond water, well water, and irrigation ditch water should always be tested. Some water may have excess nitrates from runoff from fields. If that is the case with your water and you add a high-nitrogen fertilizer, your plants may get burned. Also, some wells have excess boron levels that most plants can't tolerate.
What is a Good Compost?
Look at compost before you buy!
Put a sample in a quart jar, half compost and half water. Shake it up and let the mix sit overnight. Much of the material that floats will rob nitrogen from your plants. That material might have been added as cheap filler. Also, pine and fir sawdust, bark, and needles, juniper, and walnut change the pH level of a compost pile to acidic. Few plants grow well with acid compost around their root zone.
How Do I Make a Grow Media Mix?
I recommend a mix that has 60% well-composted base material with lots of fines, wood particles no bigger than 1/4 inch. These must be rotted to the point of mashing between fingers. These wood pieces should be no more than 1/4 of total compost volume. Add 20% Pumice into the mix (3/4 inch to fines). Then add 10% soil / loam (screened) and 10% coarse sand.
This mix is nutrient deficient so you must add
a soil amendment mix.
Use 3 Sisters First Amendment in the amount of 5 dry gallons (one bucket) to one cubic yard of grow mix.
Can I Amend Last Year's Grow Mix?
Yes. Get it tested to see what nutrients and minerals have been depleted. Get a pH test, an N-P-K test, and a water test. With those results, we can make a recommendation on how much 3 Sisters First Amendment you should use for each cubic yard.
When and How to Apply
"The Freedom to Root"
After plants are well rooted, a top dressing is a fine way to give a burst of growth. Do this in late Spring or early Summer. Scratch lightly into surface around drip line of tree or shrubs. Garden plants and potted plants can also benefit from a top dressing application. One cup will fertilize a plant with a 1/2-inch diameter stem.
Amendment tea can be made by adding one cup of 3 Sisters First Amendment to a 5 gallon bucket of water. Let this mixture steep for 24 to 36 hours in a warm area. Putting an air stone into the tea and bubbling will increase microbial growth and aerate the soil as you water with the tea. You can also use the dregs from the tea as a mild form of top dressing.The brewed tea should be the caramel color of iced tea. Dilute to half strength for seedlings and young plants.
Bare Root Trees:
The pictures of the almond trees above show what a difference a coffee can of 3 Sisters First Amendment will make in the bottom of each planting hole. For 1-inch trunk diameter use 3 to 4 cups of 3 Sisters First Amendment in each hole. In late Spring apply as a top dressing. If needed, apply as a top dressing again in early Summer but no later in the season.
Let's Grow Oregon L.L.C.