Collect Soil. Squeeze the soil in your hand. Soil Testing. But … And not even additional plant food or fertilizer will help if your soil lies outside of a plant's preferred pH range. The proper way to test the minerals in the soil is to use an extractant, which determines what and how many plant nutrients are in the soil. These kits are specially made for home gardeners. An easy way to evaluate your soils’ health: After the ground has warmed up to at least 55 – 60 degrees, dig a hole about a foot wide and a foot deep in an area that’s moist, but not wet.

Combine Soil and Testing Powder. To begin, collect soil from six different areas around your garden, using a trowel. Add Water. Why do a Soil pH Test on your garden soil?

Testing your soil for major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) is crucial to growing beautiful and nutritious veggies. For DIY kits, follow the instructions included with the tests, because each manufacturer has different requirements. The Peanut Butter Jar Soil Test for Sand, Silt, and Clay. Determining the nutrient concentrations for nitrate, phosphates, and potassium can reveal how a soil is functioning in regards to its intended use and how nutrients are cycling through a soil. You’ll need to consider not only soil pH, but soil texture as well (a no-fuss DIY method to determining the soil’s texture is the “mason jar test.”). The only way to know if your soil needs compost or fertilizer is to test the soil. A nutrient test provides a report of average nutrient concentration (mg/L) for all nutrients tested. So, testing your garden’s soil pH is critical for the well-being of your plants in the long run. This is especially important for those of your using synthetic fertilizers to feed your crops. An easy way to evaluate your soils’ health: After the ground has warmed up to at least 55 – 60 degrees, dig a hole about a foot wide and a foot deep in an area that’s moist, but not wet.

Soil Test 3: The Worm Test Worms are great indicators of the overall health of your soil, especially in terms of biological activity. Your soil's pH can have a profound affect on what nutrients are available to your plants. Otherwise, your plants just won’t grow well.

Before you collect a sample, make sure you know how much soil your lab requires and at what depth.

I eventually figured out that I needed to do some soil nutrient testing to determine what was wrong, and then add the appropriate mineral fertilizers to balance it out.

But soil pH is the critical indicator of the health status of a garden. Sift through the dirt. For example, there are these tests: The Squeeze Test – take a handful of soil, and make sure it is damp (but not soaking). Of course that doesn’t get rid of weeds right away – it takes years. For lab soil testing, there is a general process you can follow. The more the soil sticks to your hand … Technically speaking, a soil pH (potential hydrogen) test measures how many hydrogen ions are in the soil. Since soil conditions can vary even on a small space, it’s possible to test all parts of your garden to determine exactly what kind of a fertilizer each area of your garden needs. As a home gardener, it's important to test your soil pH.Certain plants can only access the soil's nutrients if the pH is within a certain range.

Nutrient levels - Minerals like phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium are vital to a healthy soil.

If you have earthworms, chances are that you also have all of the beneficial microbes and bacteria that make for healthy soil and strong plants. Soil Nutrient Testing Is The Answer. Garden soil and nutrient testing will be your biggest responsibility on a day-to-day basis while growing. You can easily test the soil all by yourself using a home soil testing kit.

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