Baby, it's cold outside
This past week, just before the big freeze was due to hit, I went out in the garden and collected some soil to do some soil tests.
The pH test results were fast... within an hour. All I had to do was dump a clump of soil in the bottom of the container, add a capsule of reactant, and fill with water to the fill line. Result: Slightly acid soil (6.5).
Now, for the other three tests, I had to take a larger clump of soil, put it in a jar with five times the amount of water as soil, and shake it up really well. I waited for the soil to settle out (hmm, lots of clay... about 1/3) and ... oops, forgot about it for another day an a half. So it sat for about 3.5 days before I did anything with it. Well, potassium and phosphates looked reasonable, but the nitrogen reading came out as... *there's no nitrogen in this soil!!!*
I suspect that maybe that's because I left it too long.
I went out this weekend to get some more soil... the rain gauge, which had been filled with water, was now filled with ice.
The ground was hard.
It's supposed to warm up this week, so I'll try later in the week to get a fresh sample.
Only other news: Ash put collars around all the rose bushes and filled them with a combination of peat moss, soil, and compost this weekend. I hope that will reduce the risk of damage due to freeze/thaw cycles.
That's it for today. Take care, and I'll let you know what the results are of the soil tests, if I can take them this year.