Bob Shoaf Sunny Alamogordo, NM, USA
To follow up on what Tuula Rands said in her lesson.
When I was gardening without a gardening mentor, I read in detail a book, "The
Joy of Gardening", published by Troy Built back in the late 70's or early 80's.
It suggested using 2 pounds Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0) per 100 square feet to
lower the soil pH 1.0 pH.
I did that. It lowered the soil pH .5 pH. My gardening mentor suggested the
reason being the soil in New York where Troy Build had their gardens was of a
much different composition. Here in this sandy soil we should apply 8 pounds of Ammonium
Sulfate (21-0-0), then water heavily and let the soil set for at least a month
for the Ammonium to evaporate and the Nitrogen to soak into the soil.
That was done. My gardening mentor also suggested doing a leaf sample during the
summer while plants are growing to get a snapshot of what is happening at that
moment. The generalized knowledge from the book and other books never mentioned
My gardening mentor is in his late 60's, was born in New Mexico and has gardened
all his life. He has gotten generalized knowledge over the years, but also has
specialized knowledge from experimentation and his mentors. He has done enough
soil samples so his plants receive a balanced nutritional diet for optimal
Just another example of becoming the best we can be requires a mentor in our
specialized area of expertise.