The Simple Soil Test Hacks All Gardeners Must Do

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A soil test is a simple way to help you know what things you can do to deal with the soil lacks. Well, it is crucial to do the soil test if you just want to help your plants grow healthily in the backyard. Besides, the test makes you able to consider adding the right additives to complete your soil. Since there are many advantages of your soil test, you will never regret if you do it carefully. Once the result is accurate, you can easily help your plants to grow in the pH level of the soil.

Compost

There are many successful gardeners do the soil test as their note to find the most efficient and budget-friendly step to improve their gardening matters. It is because the test will indicate the pH level of your soil which can be acidity or alkalinity. Of course, the pH level of the soil can affect the plants to survive and to take the nutrients. In addition, soil pH is from 1.0 that is acidic to 14.0 which means alkaline. If your soil is 7, it means the soil is neutral. If you live in a rainy region, typically the soil is more acidic. On the other hands, if you live in the desert area, it means the soil is likely more alkaline. Therefore, the soil in these areas should be amended accordingly so your plants can thrive.
Compost
What can you do?
If your soil is too low of pH acidic, then you can increase it by adding lime, wood ashes, and dolomite limestone. On the other hands, if the soil is too high or alkaline, you can decrease it by add pine needles, composted oak leaves, and horticultural sulfur.
How much time to spend to deal with the test?
If you want to run the test for your soil, it is simple and easy that you only need 20 minutes to complete the test.
Note: before running the test, make sure that you have some tools below:

  • Towels
  • Flat container
  • Quart Jar

In addition, you will also need some materials as below:

  • Spoon
  • Soil test kit
  • Distilled water

# Step 1 – Collect Soil

To start, you need to collect your soil from six different areas in the backyard. Here, you will need a trowel. In each area, you need to dig about 6 inches deep to take the samples of soil. Besides, you need to check the collected soil because there should be no roots, stones, or mulch. From each of the area, you only need a teaspoon of the soil.
# Step 1 – Collect Soil

# Step 2 – Mix Samples

Continue to the next step on how to get enough soil samples for a large area. The best answer is to combine a little bit from each pile of the soil. You should use a quart jar to do this. In addition, you will need a trowel to break up large clumps.
We recommend you not to touch the soil samples with your bare hands. This is important because the oils in your fingers can even determine the pH balance in the soil. In other word, it will affect the result of the soil test.
# Step 2 – Mix Samples

#Step 3 – Combine Soil and Testing Powder

Take your spoon and use it to scope the soil sample. Put your soil into the vial of the soil test kit. After that, you will need a small amount of soil to fill up to the indicated line. Continue by taking one of the capsules right from the soil test kit. Open it carefully and then empty the powder into the soil test vial.
#Step 3 – Combine Soil and Testing Powder

#Step 4 – Add Water

The last thing to do is about adding water to the soil test kit. You will need the plastic eyedropper in the kit to do this step. You should use the distilled water if you want to test your soil. Of course, water with additives will only alter the results of the soil test. After that, continue by filling the soil test vial with that water until it is at the dotted line. Put the lid on the vial and then shake vigorously to make sure that the soil, the water, and the testing powder can mix together.
Now, you are at the final step. Here, you should evaluate the results. To do so, you need to let the shaken vial for two minutes to sit. This way will allow the liquid to settle and then take on the color. The color of the liquid will be the sign to tell you about the pH level of your soil. Here, we recommend you to check your kit’s guide. If you are about finding the best color judgment, we think you should hold the vial up to the sun for a while.
#Step 4 – Add Water
So, that is all about how to test your soil. Doing this is beneficial for you especially if you want to make a beautiful garden. If you love to plants but wonder why your plants look hard to grow, you can do this test just to know whether the plants are living in the right home. If the plants have to survive quite hard just because they are living in the area that is not suitable for them especially for the pH level, you can decrease or increase the pH level manually as we have explained above.
Doing this test is also great for your plants. You can easily know whether they need more additives or not. After applying for the right additives for your plants, there will be a new hope that your plants will grow better than ever. Last but not least, if you want to make a beautiful backyard with the plant to buy some seeds, we recommend you to do the soil test first. Once you figure out the pH level of your soil, you can even decide the best plants to grow in your backyard without providing intense maintenance and care. A soil test, of course, saves a lot of money for all gardeners.