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2011 Logan Labs soil tests and 2015 hoophouse updates
Updated 8/30/15: In 2011 we did two tests, one of NATIVE soil in the hoophouse and one for our lower garden after the first growing season. In 2015 we were in for a big surprise in the hoophouse, and it wasn't good!
August 26, 2015
7:28 pm
Near Meadview, between Lake Mead and Grand Canyon West (Skywalk)
Forum Posts: 174
Member Since:
May 6, 2015
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I'm uploading the 2011 Logan tests results for our NATIVE soil in the hoophouse and for the lower garden after the first growing season.   We had no recommendations other than to move or to apply MAP (not organic).


We ended up mixing our soil using using about 30% of the native dirt (that's about what's left over after you screen the rocks and caliche out), "organic" compost from Star Nursery, wood chips and 10+ year old horse manure.   I knew that you're not supposed to add wood chips to soil as it robs nitrogen, but we had done that in our lower garden and after just one summer all the wood chips had decomposed.  The compost (was told by Red Star that is was trees from California virgin forest and very acidic) and the wood chips were probably over 50% of the mix)

Here is the 2015 International Ag Labs hoophouse test and it's a mess. 


We only tested the east side of the hoophouse as the west side had many perennials such as pomegranates, bird of paradise, apricot, willow, hollyhock, blackberries, etc.

When we finished the hoophouse in 2011 we planned to use it as a sheltered space to get plants started and to turn the area into a garden once the 4-year plastic went bad.   The plastic definitely exceeded out expectations as the only tears are from accidental damage with rake handles, etc. 

The east side has one big apricot tree grown from seed and now we have a volunteer peach tree

Don't know what happened as we thought the amendments were similar to the lower garden and we really didn't do much aside from spraying / watering with kelp and adding gypsum as we had added none when we originally mixed the dirt. 

We added some of our compost and maybe we added more horse manure in 2012 before we had our own compost.  I did take at least some notes, but wouldn't know where to look for them right now since it wasn't on the computer. 

I'm determined to be a better note taker and did pretty good this year.

Here are the International Ag Labs recommendations for the hoophouse east side:


I tried to get ORGANIC recommendations, but International Ag Lab didn't write back to my emails, asking how I could pay for them.   So we didn't do much of anything other than to spread some more gypsum and I applied humic acid, manganese, BioRed nitrogen fixing microbes and SeaNano.

In spring we grew lettuce and greens in the east half that we had soil tested and they did ok.

When it got too hot, dill, chichiquelite, sweet annie, himalayan basil and catnip took over.   We must have pounds of dill seed!  "Something" kept eating the Armenian cucumber seedlings and this is the first year we don't have any -- yet.  We got some plants in the new orchard and they were started very late, but we're still hoping.  We do have one volunteer tomato that actually produced tomatoes in summer, but unfortunately they they seriously cracked and a few had blossom end rot.

The gophers finally found the hoophouse and I'm glad we didn't plant a whole lot.    We're just getting ready to clear out all the volunteers on the east side and clean it up for fall lettuce planting since we finally caught two of the gophers and hopefully fixed the holes so the little bunnie and the packrats can't get back in.

Despite all that, we do have 4 large tomato plants on the west side that should give us a nice fall harvest once it cools off a bit.   In late August it's still well over 100 F most of the day in the hoophouse with a 30% shade cloth.  Quite a bit of growing area on the west side does not get enough sunshine because of all the perennials.

Our new hoophouse next to the orchard will be covered with shade cloth instead of plastic as we retained NO heat in winter and it was as cold at night in the hoophouse as outside. 

This year we've been focused on the new orchard and the veggies in the future tree holes and veggies and trees along the south fence of our property.

Please note in a separate topic the 2015 NATIVE soil test and recommendations for our future Orchard by International Ag Labs

Here's a native soil test from International Ag Labs:


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