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Soil test kits

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Soil test kits

Post  Old Hippie on 8/16/2010, 5:42 pm

Has anyone ever tried the soil test kits you can buy in garden supply shops or Home Depot or the like? If so, are they any good? I have heard that you have to pay a pile of money to send soil samples to a lab to be tested. Stingy old hippie that I am, paying money for something, especially to the government just goes against my grain.

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Re: Soil test kits

Post  Megan on 8/16/2010, 5:51 pm

I did try it, and I got "results" but I don't know how accurate they are. When I posted about it here, I was told those kits aren't too good. I was planning on checking my agricultural extension office and see what they charge to do a test, if anything.

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Re: Soil test kits

Post  boffer on 8/16/2010, 6:41 pm

I've tried a couple types. The main problem with home soil tests is that the soil sample is too small to be representative of anything. For a professional test, they might recommend a 1 cup sample from 3 different areas, that are then mixed together. (Ex: in a 4x4 box, a sample from two corners and the middle, off the top, bottom, and middle.)

By comparison, a home test sample is just a smidgen-the size of the tip of my pinkie finger. Perhaps one could use a mortar and pestle to grind up a larger sample of MM, but the results would always be suspect.

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