Have you been wondering about a soil test for your garden, yard or field?
Test the soil for the nutrients your plants need to grow and produce for you.
What is holding you back from testing your soil? This guide will give you the information you need to complete the requirements for a soil analysis.
Why a soil test would be a great idea.
- It’s Easy
- It’s Cheap
- You Know What’s In There
- You Know How to Amend the Soil to Improve
Although Spring planting is just around the corner, it’s not too late to test your soil for pH and nutrients, or lack thereof. In fact, soil testing is so important for the health of any plant you are growing. The results can spell out many problems you may not have thought of before.
The basic soil test tells you the soil pH level as well as the content of the three main nutrients required: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can also choose to test for numerous micro and macro nutrients certain plants may require to thrive.
It’s important to know what your nutrient content is so you aren’t guessing when applying your fertilizer. The main goal you should be striving for is a great balance of the common nutrients needed in the soil.
The cost of the test is usually around $10 for the testing of basic nutrients in the soil.
Even though a soil cost is a meager investment, it can truly save you money in the long run as well as your crop. Recommendations from the results will reveal what your soil needs. The results show how much fertilizer to add to your soil, making it much easier to maintain a high level of fertility year after year.
How to prepare a soil test:
The steps to completing a soil test is so simple, you’ll wonder why it’s taken you so long to complete it. Here they are:
2. Take at least 10 samples around your area, combining all the samples into a clean bucket or pail. This provides a representative sample of the entire garden area.
Depending on your county or district office, your Extension Agent will be able to tell you the next procedure. My Extension Agent sends the samples to the university lab, but yours may use a different lab for more accurate testing. Here’s where you can start to find your local office: Cooperative Extension Service.
Once your soil is sent to a lab to be tested, it could take around 10 days for the results to come back. In the mean time, you could be planning your garden layout, getting your fences ready and looking into fertilizer options.
Results of the Soil Test
When you do get those results back, your Extension Agent or soil expert will give you recommendations based on the area in which you live.
No matter where you live, requirement for different vegetables and crops will remain the same. Here’s a great publication I refer to quite often to understand soil test recommendations for whatever I’m planting: Click HERE.
Different zones and climates across the country will have different ways and methods of testing the soil. Start with your local Extension office to find the right person to help you send your soil to the right laboratory for accurate testing.
I test my soil every three years for an accurate reading of nutrients to keep my gardens growing healthy.
Soil testing is a cheap and easy way to maintain nutrients. In the long run, routine testing will keep you and your soil on check to a steady level of high quality results.
What are you waiting for?
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Believer. Teacher. Mommy to Girls & Goats. Lover of the land. Farm Fresh Foodie. Wellness Coach. Welcome to my Rural Life!