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Testing Mel's Mix pH

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Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  rabbithutch on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:17 pm

Thank you, Marc!

You mentioned soil testing:  Can regular soil and pH testing kits be used on MM?  If not, what is needed to test it?

I have a moisture probe and a pH probe.  I thought I'd buy a soil test kit, too.  That way I can test before each season (we have 2 in Texas) and if I see any signs in the plants that there might be problems.

TIA 


Last edited by camprn on Sun May 04, 2014 9:24 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : corrected title)

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  camprn on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:23 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:Thank you, Marc!

You mentioned soil testing:  Can regular soil and pH testing kits be used on MM?  If not, what is needed to test it?

I have a moisture probe and a pH probe.  I thought I'd buy a soil test kit, too.  That way I can test before each season (we have 2 in Texas) and if I see any signs in the plants that there might be problems.

TIA 
Mel's mix has no soil in it so for best results send it out to a lab using the soilless greenhouse medium on the order form.

http://soiltest.umass.edu/

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Soil Testing Mel's Mix

Post  rabbithutch on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:25 pm

I've been looking at this soil test kit and wondering if it would be adequate for testing MM and regular soil.

Does anyone here have experience testing their own MM?  Do you think this kit will be helpful in maintaining a balanced growing medium?

TIA  

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  rabbithutch on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:27 pm

@camprn wrote:
Mel's mix has no soil in it so for best results send it out to a lab using the soilless greenhouse medium on the order form.

http://soiltest.umass.edu/

I was hoping to be able to do my own testing whenever I wanted to - like before each 'season' or whenever a problem seems apparent.  Is it impossible to test MM yourself?

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  boffer on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:30 pm

I think you're better off sending it to a lab.

@camprn wrote:Mel's mix has no soil in it so for best results send it out to a lab using the soilless greenhouse medium on the order form.
http://soiltest.umass.edu/

You get a lot more value for the money:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  CapeCoddess on Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Since mm is a soilless mix maybe this one would be better IF you can find it.
http://www.amazon.com/SciEd-Soil-Less-Garden-Lab-Investigation/dp/B0017UGZKQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1398025834&sr=8-2&keywords=soilless+test+kit

My moisture probe doesn't work in my s f g. I found that out by just about drowning my poor plants. It comes up dry everytime.

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  sanderson on Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:22 pm

Camp, it looks like the Mass Univ is cheaper than my local US Davis Lab, CA. A plus is that Mass has a reasonable turn around time. Two (2) liters (2 quarts) of MM in ziplock bag. ?? I couldn't find "soil-less" but there is Compost on the submittal form. ??

I think I will try it on my current new MM made with last summer's compost, and on this Berkeley pile after 2 weeks of ambient temp. Any advice?

If anyone else uses this lab with same test, it would be fun to post results. Comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Maybe a separate topic is there are more that 2 people doing this!

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  boffer on Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:43 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:... Is it impossible to test MM yourself?
Some members have expressed satisfaction doing so.

Back in the day, I was a metrologist, and worked in civilian and military laboratories.  (A metrologist has nothing in common with a meteorologist!)

To make a valid (useful) measurement, we need repeatability and accuracy over a given range.  From what I've read, home test kits provide neither.  One reason is that the sample size is so small.  Another reason is  interpretation of the results is inconsistent from test to test, and person to person.  There's just no way to know if one's results are accurate.

As I said in your other thread,  I had my MM tested by a lab.  I also tried a home kit using the same MM sample that I sent out.  I did three tests, and  the results were all different.  I threw the kit out.

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  boffer on Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:50 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:...My moisture probe doesn't work in my s f g. I found that out by just about drowning my poor plants. It comes up dry everytime.

Mine wouldn't work either.  Somewhere on the forum, Plantoid provided detailed instructions on how to clean a moisture meter so that it works.  Pfft!  I threw it out; my finger works just fine!

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Testing Mel's Mix

Post  camprn on Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:11 pm

@sanderson wrote:Camp, it looks like the Mass Univ is cheaper than my local US Davis Lab, CA.  A plus is that Mass has a reasonable turn around time.  Two (2) liters (2 quarts) of MM in ziplock bag.  ??  I couldn't find "soil-less" but there is Compost on the submittal form.  ??

I think I will try it on my current new MM made with last summer's compost, and on this Berkeley pile after 2 weeks of ambient temp.  Any advice?

If anyone else uses this lab with same test, it would be fun to post results.  Comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges.  Maybe a separate topic is there are more that 2 people doing this!

A few years ago Boffer posted his test result from UMASS.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8673-mel-s-mix-lab-analysis-results


and another thread:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t10252-soil-test-results?highlight=test


Regarding the cost, how much does a reliable home test cost? How long do the chemicals keep? When sending to the lab there's no muss, no fuss and you get extensive, reliable results.

Here is the link to the soilless greenhouse medium. Mel's mix is a soilless medium.

http://soiltest.umass.edu/sites/soiltest.umass.edu/files/forms/soilless-greenhouse-media/Greenhouse_110713_1.pdf

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  camprn on Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:21 pm

I have moved some posts to this thread.

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  donnainzone5 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:26 pm

As long as I get good results, I don't worry about testing.

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  sanderson on Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:54 pm

Camp. thank you for posting the lab Form. If I ever give a class, I can show the results (assuming the results are excellent). Embarassed  Dang, they better be  What a Face 

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  camprn on Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:05 am

@boffer wrote:
Back in the day, I was a metrologist, and worked in civilian and military laboratories.  (A metrologist has nothing in common with a meteorologist!)

.

That's cool and explains a lot! What a Face

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Testing Mel's Mix pH

Post  camprn on Sun May 04, 2014 9:24 am

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/soil-ph-zm0z14amzkin.aspx#axzz30kjJds6Z

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books




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