Posts Tagged ‘potato’

Growing Root Crops in Red Soil

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

red-soilQueensland’s red volcanic soils are some of the most fertile in the world, and they are well suited to the growing of root crops. Root crops, like potatoes and ginger, are demanding feeders that respond well to this superior fertility. However, there are still some common problems associated with these soils, and the most notable of these is related to phosphorus availability. The negatively charged phosphate ion is notoriously unstable. It will readily form insoluble compounds with calcium (tri-calcium phosphate), iron, aluminium and manganese. In red soils, the problem is iron. These soils are coloured red because of an abundance of iron. Phosphate and iron rapidly form the insoluble iron phosphate, and it becomes a constant battle managing phosphorus for high-production fertility. A visit to some Nutri-Tech ginger growers highlights the pain and pleasure of growing root crops in the red zone. (more…)