Steve Solomon showed up to fix our bad soil: see what we did!

In today's video, I test my soil and get some terrible results. You can see the whole analysis here:

Since we want to grow nutrient-dense food and add lots of micronutrients to our soil, I called Steve Solomon and he gave me a recipe to fix our bad soil. In today's video we mix up a batch of his recommended fertilizer and talk about what plants need to thrive.

See the extended interview with Steve here:

Get Steve's book The Intelligent Gardener:

The complete recipe we used for my bad sandy soil:

4 quarts cottonseed meal
1 quart garden lime
2 cups pelletized gypsum
3.5 cups bonemeal
2/3 cup potassium sulfate
1.5 tbsp borax
2 tbsp manganese sulfate
2 tbsp zinc sulfate
2 tsp copper sulfate
1 quart kelp meal
1/8 tsp sodium molybdate

Steve Solomon's Soil and Health Library:

Compost Your Enemies T-Shirts:


Start composting today – get David's free booklet:

David's books:

David's daily gardening blog:



  • Melinda Schneider

    Very informative. I test my soil every planting season. I use a lot of what you mentioned along with a few others. Love Steve S. 👍

  • Scott Head

    Having read Steve’s books, I love this.

  • LibertyNotLicense

    DtG alter ego, Bama Boy, says, “When in Rome, Y’all!”

  • tiki

    Geeking out hard here!
    So excited for your garden!
    Also LOVE that you are still using the trusty machete!

  • Laurie Paris

    Pretty exciting stuff! Really looking forward to seeing how this pans out. Glad I stayed to the end for wifey banter and to see how you were going to work those minerals into the soil! 🌱

  • aurora571000

    Wow!!! Steve Solomon! In the flesh! Errr… In the digital! He’s not as young as I remember him…maybe I’m not either? He was my first gardening guide back when he had just started a seed company and had little newsprint pamphlets for catalogs, at our local Arcata Co-op in Northern California🧑‍🌾 Ahhh, the good old days.

  • William Villar

    (After looking at all the pumpkins) lol. I knew it.

  • Hartmnundus

    This is big brain stuff
    I’m reading the intelligent gardener

  • HipNosis the godling

    Turning sand into dirt with David the Good.

  • Old 37 Homestead

    Man, and I thought that I had to add a lot to my FL soil.

  • A Fishes & Loaves Life

    Awe, man I need to do soil samples next I guess. Although I have been bringing in bagged soil because of being in an HOA that sits on that white compacted crude which is down deeper near the house -because the house settled I guess, or maybe from my previous trial of gardening 10 years ago that I failed at miserably due to trying to grow Northern crops I guess at the wrong time. Thanks for bringing other Rock Star gardeners neat to watch your experience, of how you start from scratch.
    Steve’s chuckle about you going to feed stores asking for weird stuff because you have a smart friend…was actually endearing.

  • sina942000

    Been using Steve’s COF off and on for about a decade and a half (depending on how cheap I’m being in a given year.) It works. But this will be the first year I’m using the extra micronutrients. Just got my zinc sulfate and copper sulfate from Alpha Chemicals. Excited to see what difference it makes.

  • Z E

    David ridding in a gangster truck like a villian doing good for humanity

  • A Fishes & Loaves Life

    Get your own #MenoniteSushisoil you too can grow some yummy Steve Solomon approved tasty turnips. Also purchase DTG’s shirt and support an awesome small business from Alabama- USA!

  • grock mail

    These are the type of videos you should keep doing. Tons of info and keeps me wanting more.


  • Lake Effect Farm

    I read The Intelligent Gardener this summer and have been amending my beds 100 sq ft at a time as crops finish and new ones go in. It was a challenge to locate all the ingredients and was funny to watch you doing the same thing I did, kneeling in an enclosed porch laboriously measuring everything out and dumping it in 5 gal buckets. I do mix it outside, though!

  • Amy Johnson

    Yes kelp meal is expensive. My Nigerian Dwarf Goats love it but it costs me about a hundred bucks for a fifty pound bag

  • Loriful

    measures out the bonemeal, lets out a ghost~

  • Cam Met

    Welcome to the land of sand.

  • GreenShortz DIY

    Catching up on some DTG. An interesting Providence that you’ve found yourself with poor soil. An excellent opportunity to create some interesting and informative content…and some legit dirt rhymes. Cool to get your mentor on the line. Congrats on your surpassing 100K.

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