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March 18, 2011

It's time to test your soil before spring planting!

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If your garden soil is now thawed and you're itching to get your fingers in the dirt and start planting, I am with you completely. But it might be a good idea to do some soil testing before you start filling up the rows. There are many different levels of soil testing, sometimes even going so far as to send samples to a lab for results.

A soil test measures which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc) have their nutrients available within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. A soil test also measures soil pH, humic matter and exchangeable acidity. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much to apply.

Because soil composition changes very quickly it is a good idea to test the soil as soon as possible after taking samples. You also have to be careful about the composition of the water used in the soil test as the ph of the water can affect the outcome of the test. Distilled water might be the best choice rather than faucet water.


At Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Soil Test Kit

Read More in: Fertilizer | Garden Tools

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at March 18, 2011 10:36 AM
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