How To Use a Soil Test Kit At Home?
Testing your garden soil as the initial step is a must action for determining the status of it. First-time gardeners often get it wrong at this point of the gardening process. Why should you test soil? What is the best way to test soil at home? What is a Soil Test Kit, and why should you have a one? In this article, I am going to explain everything in details. Let’s begin.
* The importance of testing soil: OK, let me put it this way. Imagine you move into a new house that has a huge garden. It is a good reason for considering a garden crop. Why not? Anyway, if you plant the trees without testing the soil for its conditions, then the end results will give you sad tears. It is all about the soil – that it what professional gardeners say about it. What they say is 100% true. Plants grow by absorbing nutrients in the soil. So, if the soil lacks in essential nutrients, you know what will happen. Experienced gardeners can predict the soil condition just by looking at it. But you are a first-time gardener. A Soil Test Kit will be your best friend here.
What can you test by a Soil Test Kit?: You can measure more than one soil characteristic with a kit. Our five senses can’t detect soil pH levels (not even experienced gardeners.) Levels of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are the critical measurements that you must take during soil preparation. Preparing your soil for various plants can be a challenge for any gardener. You will grow vegetable, fruits, and flowers in the same garden. You can divide your garden into sections for this purpose. As mentioned, pH is a critical measurement that you can take from a Soil Test Kit. pH means the acidity or the alkaline level in the soil. 7 pH is neutral, anything below 7 pH is acidic, and above 7 pH is alkaline.
Essential nutrients for plants and vegetables: Nitrogen is essential for the growth of green leaves. If you want robust flowers, then treat your soil with phosphorus. Potassium supports the basic growth of all the plants. With a Soil Test Kit, you can measure all these available nutrient values in the garden soil easily.
Analog VS digital: If you are a first-time gardener, then analog Soil Test Kits can confuse you. Digital devices are the best choice for first-timers. It is a simple hand-held device, which is not that bigger than a digital thermometer. Getting readings by a digital Soil Test Kit is a piece of cake. It will save your time too. Well, here I am not underestimating analog ones. Most experienced gardeners use analog test kits because they know how to use it accurately. Both the types will give you accurate readings though. Analog test kits are available in the market for less than $20. You can buy a digital device for less than $50 (a super quality one.)
Some final words: Did you know that the status of your garden soil varies from season to season? That is why you should choose plants according to the season (seasonal plants.) If you work hard for a good crop, you will get it for sure, and you will feel proud of yourself for achieving it.