I have found an interesting article from Elmore County Extension office in Mountain Home, ID- called “Missing Links in SW Idaho Soil Management”.   Here is the site to read it: http://extension.uidaho.edu/elmore/files/2013/12/MissingLinksinSWIdahoSoilManagement.pdf

In this short article, it explains that our alkaline soils need a lot of compost, but also some micronutrients in order for plants to thrive.

I wanted to review the article and then use the best organic methods to fill in the missing links.

The first missing link is phosphorus- you can get that by buying bone meal or rock phosphate.  Rock phosphate I found online at Walmart (WHAT?, yup.  online only) or Dr. Earth brand at Amazon.com.  I know that locally, Edwards Nursery carries Dr Earth products.

The second missing link is elemental sulfur along with organic matter.  I apply compost at least once a year, sometimes fall, sometimes spring, or whenever the pick- up truck is working.  So, along with the compost, we apparently need to add sulfur- which causes a chemical reaction in the soil to produce gypsum.  I found the Elemental sulfur at D&B Supply in a 50 lb. bag.

It's worth a try. . . .  I have applied it to the soil- it's a bit smelly but that's ok, if it works.   I will let you know!

I have not tried the 3rd missing link yet,  but I will.   Potassium is to be applied in the heat of summer.  Try using kelp meal, or ground seashells-  I'll probably get the kelp meal, don't feel like driving to the coast in the height of summer.

The fourth missing link-  love it!!  Plant native plants- they use less water!