When coming up with ideal growing conditions for various plant life and flowers in your garden, you might want to try a home garden soil test kit. This will help you make sure your garden is functioning at the premium rating for whichever type of flora you wish to see in your garden. Certain alkalinity ratings are best for growth, usually within the 6.0-6.8 range. For this reason, it is often a good idea to obtain a home soil test kit for your garden, making sure that you understand readings as well.
Below, we have selected the top seven garden soil test kits available, based on user reviews and feedback, as well as pricing and affordability.
Providing planting and indoor/outdoor testing conditions, this accurate, easy to understand garden test kit includes information to tell you when to change soil conditions. Ideal for any type of soil, this garden kit helps to determine the health of your plants based on soil conditions. This kit comes highly recommended by users, providing a number of different key readings for garden soil. Priced affordably, it is one of the top garden soil kits available.
Check it out: http://www.forestsoils.org/MoonCity3in1GardenSoilTestKit
Helping determine alkalinity and moisture levels for outdoor or indoor gardens, this helpful soil test kit is easy to use and read, requiring no batteries. This is a very simple kit that doesn’t require any setup or external power sources, making it one of the best choices for newcomers or advanced gardeners alike.
Check it out: http://www.forestsoils.org/Foneso3in1SoilTestKit
3) Luster Leaf 1820 Soil Test Kit
Coming in three versions including digital, mini, and standard, the Luster Leaf brand has a proven reputation for delivering accurate soil results time and again. The Luster Leaf is one of the most readable kits, providing accurate and simple results that you can quickly translate into growing conditions.
A great kit for gardeners, the Environmental Concepts kit is easy to read and performs more than 40 tests. Affordable, simple, and accurate. Environmental Concepts comes highly rated for ease of use and affordability, as well as simplicity when it comes to set up and testing.
Including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, pH, and Potash meters, this test helps to determine levels of elements in the soil using color coding tubes that easily inform you of soil conditions. Assembled in the USA. Providing one of the best and most readable charting manuals for determining soil conditions, this is a very newbie-friendly kit that can be used by anyone. You don’t need to be a soil expect with this kit.
Check it out: http://www.forestsoils.org/Rapitest1608CS
Testing both soil conditions and moisture and sunlight conditions, the Dr. Meter is a great all around unit for those seeking an easy to read LCD unit. Provides for night readings as well. If you’re considering a reading that will tell you exactly how to alter your current soil conditions, this unit will help get the job done.
Check it out: http://www.forestsoils.org/Dr.MeterSoilTestingKit
Including a meter to determine specialized units such as ppm, temperature, and CF, this unit is excellent for those needing a more in-depth garden soil reading. With a helpful calibration indicator, this unit provides some of the most advanced garden soil readings available for pH.
Check it out: http://www.forestsoils.org/BluelabComboSoilTestingMeter
DIY Garden Soil Testing Procedure
Testing your soil at home in your own garden is not as difficult as you might think. Using a basic soil analysis unit, you can easily determine levels of potash, phosphorus, and nitrogen in the soil, as well as the pH level. This will help you determine conditions for growing plants and flowers in a garden. To conduct a test, there are a few simple steps that should be followed.
The first step is to dig a small hole about four inches deep into your garden. Be sure to wear gloves during this process, as you do not want to contaminate the soil by touching it with bare hands. It’s best to get a small amount of dirt from the hole about three inches away from the top of the sample. Next, you should break up any of the compacted soil to dry it and allow it to naturally separate, removing plant or stone material.
Acquiring Your Samples
Obtaining a few good soil samples for each type of element is important at this stage. You will need to fill each tube for pH, N, P, and K to ensure you receive accurate results for each unit. Try to use the required amount of soil and distilled water in perfect amounts to ensure best accuracy. Then, you should consult the scale that goes by a color-charted rating to figure out soil conditions. Once your analysis is complete, determining the results should be simple enough.
Reviewing Each Element
As you’ve taken levels of N, P, K, and pH, ensure that they are in accordance with proper levels for growing plants and flowers in your garden. Garden soil levels may differ slightly from lawn or other types of soil, so you should be sure to consult a guide — or read the one that comes with your soil testing kit to make sure you are in accordance with ideal growing conditions.
Liquid vs. Powder-Based Kits
Some kits provide a liquid test solution requiring you to add a small amount of powder to determine soil results. Powder-based kits also require powder, but then you’ll also need to add water to it in order to emulsify the soil. Then put the cap on your tube and make sure it is well shaken. Usually, most kits require 10 or so minutes to fully provide an accurate reading.
At this point, you should have a good idea of what conditions your flowers and plants are growing under where the soil is concerned. If you need to add more manure or compost to your soil to make it more acidic, when your pH levels are too low, you will easily be able to determine how much to add thanks to your garden soil test kit. However, if your soil tends to be too acidic already, it might be best to add more raw soil and back off on adding compost or other growing agents.