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Just curious what you all think. I moved my veggie garden and have new beds/soil for this year. The beds are filled with native soil and compost from the community compost. I want to check my soil before planting (still a long way off) and would like to hear comments and suggestions from you guys about what tests are necessary (is pH and NPK enough or should I check calcium, iron and magnesium, too? Magnesium is so important for things like tomatoes, but I don't think most soils are too deficient in it) and, the best way to get the test done. The UofM extension service will do a basic pH NPK test for $17, Ca, Mg are another $7. I can buy a soil test kit, which I am leaning towards for $17-$35 depending on what the kit tests and how many tests are included. The one that seems to everywhere is the Rapitest ( by Lusterleaf)-any yeas, nays or comments about this test or suggestions for another?
Thanks for your input!
I've used the Lamotte Gardener's soil test kit. From what I've heard, it's a lot better than the usual consumer-grade test kits. But all the fussing around with test tubes and cleanup seemed like a hassle. I'm more inclined to send out a sample to be professionally analyzed in the future.
Another tool that I think is OK at home is a real pH tester, but they run over $100 AND require frequent calibration with a test solution, which also costs extra (after maybe a small amount included with the original purchase). I keep thinking I'll buy one, just for the geek in me.
What our EXT service say to do is take a sample from several spots around and mix it thoroughly and just send it the one sample Here in Oklahoma they send you back a printed sheet telling just how much of whatever is needed per acre whith a conversion table to get it to the apropo Square footing