Home soil test

Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:20 am

After making the raised beds, we decided to do a quick home test. We have never had the soil tested.

Our garden runs at a slight angle, so we did a test at the top, middle and bottom of the garden.

The top sample showed 7+ PH, middle and bottom were 7, so basically the garden has nuetral PH??

The top has low nitrogen, medium phosphorus and high potasium

Middle has VERY low nitrogen (showed no color), medium phosphorus and high potasium

The lower sample also was very low on N, medium phosphorus, and VERY high potasium

So, being cheap and broke, I would like to get one kind of fertilizer for the garden, just the normal garden stuff.

Thanks

Re: Home soil test

Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:06 am

Dale, get a bag of ammonium nitrate soluble if you can find it. Go easy and retest. May take several days. Be aware that different veggies have different needs. And keep this darn rain over on your side.

Re: Home soil test

Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:15 am

See what your favorite garden center/fertilizer dealer has in the bag. 10-10-10 will probably work allright. Then maybe get some 33-0-0 to side-dress some crops, for example sweet corn. From what I can gather soils can "hold" K (potassium) a little better than N, so some extra isn't as bad a deal as too much N. If your test is really accurate, you could get by with just 33-0-0 but I don't know how good the home test kits are. I would get it tested by the lab next year, depending on how expensive soil testing is in TN. Also I am a believer in a little "starter" for young plants, so a complete analysis like 10-10-10 gives you that.

Al

Re: Home soil test

Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:45 am

I paid $14 for a soil test. Home testing is good but doesn't generally show trace element needs so a complete test every few years might not be a bad idea. Mix samples from several sites per field/garden. I found I was low on boron and sulpher. You can also have the test run run for a specific crop and get feterlizer/lime recommendations. Read the results carefully. My soil PH was 6.4 and no lime was recommended even though asparagus was the crop. OSU recommends 7. Vern