Why You Should Have Regular Soil Tests And How To Do One Properly

soil testing equipment

80% of problems with plants stem because of issues with the soil. No amount of sprinkling water from outside will bring your plants back to full health in such cases. Neither would be adding extra doses of fertilizers help. Such problems are deeply rooted in the soil, and that is where you have to reach to cure them.

Soil testing is the first step you need to take to cure the soil issues, making your plants shrivel or dry out. It is a delicate process, and you need to know how to do it the right way.

How to do a Soil Test in My Yard in the right manner?

You would need a soil testing kit, any common garden trowel, and a bucket to conduct a soil test in your yard.

  1. You need first to choose a suitable spot in the plant bed to start off. Ideally, you should look for a relatively soft spot from where soil can be easily extracted out.
  2. Once you have zeroed down on a suitable place, you need to plant your garden trowel to a depth of around 6-10 inches in the soil bed. Gently pull it out and collect the small chunk of soil extracted in your bucket.
  3. You now need to reiterate and perform the same process at around 10-15 different sites in the bed around your plant. Again, you should preferably choose soft spots.
  4. You now need to mix all the samples that you collected and blend them well.
  5. You will now perform the soil test on 2 scoops of soil taken out of this random sample.

What am I trying to find out through a soil test? And why is it important?

You are trying to ascertain the pH level and nutritional composition of the soil by performing a soil test.

The pH level determines the degree of acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Essentially, the pH level determines how well your plants can absorb the nutrients from the soil. With a soil test, you get to know the exact pH score and, accordingly, the exact remedy in case something is amiss. Without a soil test, you would be basically trying to solve the problem through brute force hit-and-trial methods.

Soil tests also give an accurate picture of the nutritional composition of your soil. Again, with a sound knowledge of which nutrients are missing, you can take effective remedial action by adding the appropriate nutrients to your soil. Without the necessary information, you would be shooting in the dark, trying to arrive at the appropriate fertilizer with much fewer chances of success.

The best part is that soil tests are incredibly easy to perform. You can have the samples collected in under 10 minutes. You can then do the test yourself by using any of the over-the-counter DIY test kits. These again are very affordably priced at around Rs.700/ to 800/- for one kit.

The results of testing your soil yourself with a ready-made testing kit can sometimes be inaccurate. If you want reliable and extremely accurate results, then you should get the soil test done by taking a professional’s help. You could book a test at any of the advanced soil testing laboratories, and they would give you perfect results using their deep domain expertise and rich experience.

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