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Posted: 4/20/2017 8:20:08 AM EDT
As the title states, what DIY soil tests are accurate?  We currently have one of the electronic types with the three attached probes that you stick in the soil, but I have a hard time believing that it's accurate.  What works?

We're doubling the garden this year, putting in 18 12x4 raised beds, a three-bin compost setup, and a 10x12 greenhouse.  Hoping to increase our production by tailoring each bed's soil to the needs of each particular crop.

Thanks for any info.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 6:26:53 AM EDT
Off to cross post in Homestead...
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 6:27:32 AM EDT
Plant something.

If it grows, it's good.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 6:43:33 AM EDT
Your local ag extention will do it for free.


Or buy a 4 part test kit.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 8:13:49 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Your local ag extention will do it for free.


Or buy a 4 part test kit.
View Quote
Like this?

Link Posted: 4/21/2017 8:41:58 AM EDT
That was the exact kit the good local garden place had on the shelf yesterday.   I think that one is GTG.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 9:00:40 AM EDT
Quoted:
As the title states, what DIY soil tests are accurate?  We currently have one of the electronic types with the three attached probes that you stick in the soil, but I have a hard time believing that it's accurate.  What works?

We're doubling the garden this year, putting in 18 12x4 raised beds, a three-bin compost setup, and a 10x12 greenhouse.  Hoping to increase our production by tailoring each bed's soil to the needs of each particular crop.

Thanks for any info.
View Quote


get a soil sample kit or two or three from a reputable university extension or agricultural co-op.    it will cost you about $10 per kit.   the results you get will be far superior than a DIY kit, and can be tailored to a given crop.

examples below are soil analyses for established turfgrass but soil tests for crops result in similar reports.  i posted just the cover sheets but these types of reports are typically 4-5 pages long with recommendations in terms of amendment strategies (e.g., to adjust soil pH, add X pounds of calcitic lime per Y thousand square feet.)

see also:
https://extension.unh.edu/Problem-Diagnosis-and-Testing-Services/Soil-Testing
and
https://nevegetable.org/cultural-practices/soil-testing-labs-new-england

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 4/21/2017 9:03:56 AM EDT
Do you have a county co-op?
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 9:04:31 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Your local ag extention will do it for free.


Or buy a 4 part test kit.
View Quote
this is the best
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 9:13:07 AM EDT
As stated a county ag extension will generally do this for free.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 9:24:55 AM EDT
We just sent off a couple of samples to UNH Cooperative Extension for a "real" test.  We were hoping to also have a DIY test since we're using raised beds and will want to tweak them for the needs of their particular crop.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 9:25:14 AM EDT
You can test the PH with a meter. The best way is to send a sample to your ag agent. They test for nutrients etc.
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