I want to expound a little on my previous soil testing video post. I didn’t do the topic justice at all and I think I need to go into a little more detail…
Soil testing is one of the most important things any gardener/farmer can do. If you are farming or gardening for sustainability, this practice sways from important to critical.
There are 3 main things to check in your soil test:
- The NPK ratio (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium)
- The PH level
- The soil density
Here’s a fantastic video on soil testing:
This kick ass Soil Testing video was made by GLHeilig. He’s good stuff, so check out his Youtube Channel!
Additional pointers to utilize after your soil testing:
- Knowing the density of your soil is essential. Well balanced soil is happy soil (just had a Bob Ross moment… happy trees have balanced soil
- Sandy soil is no good because it drains too quickly. Add compost to hold moisture.
- Clay soil compacts tightly and doesn’t drain well; mix in sand. Straw and other brown matter works pretty well. Just remember to let it break down before planting right away.
- Quality topsoil contains proper proportions of sand, silt and clay. Mixed with good compost, you have a winning combination for sustainability.
- Buy soil test kit from garden shop or hardware store; select one that tests for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and pH. Better yet, take your soil samples to your local University and have them test it. It’s cheap and the most effective way to test.
- To test at home, dig small amounts of soil from various parts of your garden, yard or flowerbed using a garden trowel. Add measured amounts of soil, water and reactive agent to plastic test chamber; shake well. Wait 2 minutes for soil to settle and color to develop. Compare the soil solution color to the color-coded chart printed on the test chamber.
- Be sure to follow the recommendations of the testing lab! If the soil testing shows the soil is too acidic, add lime; if too alkaline, add peat moss or sulfur. Test your soil at least every three years and treat it as needed.
Testing your soil is not only a good idea, it’s necessary in order to prevent runoff, keep your soil in balance, and save your well earned cash on unnecessary fertilizer.
If you have experience with soil testing, post a comment and share your experiences!