A Quick Fall Update

The fall is flying by. On Friday evening and Saturday morning we had rain on the Central Coast–very exciting! The rain put a bit of a damper on Halloween trick or treaters. Pam and I had a large stash of candy and a jack o’ lantern by our door, but we had zero visitors.

Jack, our friendly doorkeeper.

Jack, our friendly doorkeeper.

The fall quarter has been going well. In my classes we have several experiments underway. This week we will be using data to try to explain plant health. Fun stuff.

pH Experiment Salts Experiment

Last night I ran some tests on the water and soil around the house. It is the application of what I am teaching. I’m trying to figure out why some of the plants in front of the house do not look healthy, and I want to build backyard raised vegetable beds that are productive. It turns out we have some nasty soil and terrible water (I’m not surprised). With a pH of ~9.0 and an electrical conductivity of 0.04 mS/cm (in a 1:5 dilution), the soil in front of our house is not well-suited for the plants we’re trying to grow. I need to get the pH below 7.0 and the EC to 0.50 mS/cm (in a 1:5 dilution). I also need to improve the drainage and air-holding capability of the soil, so that will involve some aerification and amendments.

Of course now that I get home after work when it’s dark all outdoor projects will move along at a snail’s pace. . .

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A Quick Fall Update

  1. Cindy Culp

    Hi Ben! My first thought after reading that your outdoor projects will now move along at a snail’s pace is, “Well, you do live in SLO county, ha ha;)” That humor is only good on the Central Coast, which I do miss, especially now that the temps are dropping here in PA. Love hearing about your experiments! Blessings to you and Pam!

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