7 votes

How can I measure the pH of my soil?

Measuring the pH of soil is cheap and super easy (I do this often). Get a (plastic) bowl. Put a sample of soil in it. Add distilled (not rain or tap) water and mix it to the consistency of a milk ...
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  • 1,585
7 votes

How can I measure the pH of my soil?

The best way is to get a soil test. If you can find a COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE via the closest University, it is cheap and possibly free. Otherwise there are cheap tests like the ones used for ...
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6 votes
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Is testing the pH of soil with cabbage juice accurate?

It will tell you whether your soil is above or below a pH of 7.0, turning green or red, respectively. It will not tell you the exact number, which is why a real test is required. Anthocyanin is the ...
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6 votes
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Is there an accurate way to test a mixture of multiple soils?

Here's my take on it for what it is worth: Soil is (hopefully) a living, dynamic system whose composition is anything by homogeneous. The pH of one scoop of soil from one part of my garden is likely ...
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  • 5,172
6 votes
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Should I do a soil test before or after amending soil?

In this case, because you already decided what you will put down, if you don't want to do two tests, test after. The reason? You will know what your soils current condition is, whether you need to ...
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5 votes
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I think my moisture meter is giving me a wrong reading in one pot

That pot/soil might have an abnormal level of salts; most "moisture meters" are essentially Ohm-meters registering electrical resistance (or conductivity - the inverse, so same thing by another name, ...
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  • 18.4k
5 votes

Excess Zinc in garden soil

Zinc is tricky, soil can contain a higher ppm than what you might want (10 ppm or so) without it being a problem because a good portion of the zinc is being held within the iron and oxides which is ...
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  • 1,640
5 votes
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How to remedy lead in soil?

By remediation, I think that you mean transforming the lead into a less toxic or inert form. However, there are many ways that are being used to deal with lead and this is a very intensive and lengthy ...
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  • 1,585
5 votes

How to remedy lead in soil?

Lead is often present in soil, but not because of oil refineries necessarily - it may occur naturally, but most is there because of man's activities. Soil near to major roads may well be contaminated ...
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  • 129k
5 votes
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How do I determine what the soil conditions are where I live?

First, dig down to the subsoil to see what your soil base is. Remove a sample, and spread it out. remove all stones, roots, and debris, and crumble the soil into a fine texture. Fill a quart canning ...
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  • 51.5k
5 votes

Soil test results + need help understanding the recommendation

Presumably the numbers in "pounds per 1000 sq ft" are intended for "single nutrient" or "straight" fertilizers which contain only one of N, P, or K. These are commonly ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes

How do I determine what the soil conditions are where I live?

There's one or two simple things you can do without finding a laboratory. We don't go in much for soil testing in the UK (unless it's critical because there's a major problem) so, first and most ...
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  • 129k
4 votes
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How can you analyze if a land has good soil?

This has probably been asked before but there are soil labs where you can send a sample of the soil in and they're able to perform a number of tests including pH, fertility as far as macro and some ...
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4 votes
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How to verify that my organic landscaper isn't using synthetic fertilizers?

Any good maintenance company either leaves a 'report' explaining any chemical treatments (organic or synthetic) for the homeowner or places flags with explanations as to treatment. If your company is ...
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  • 39.8k
4 votes

Soil test came back. I need help

I'm not currently an expert on soil science. However, it looks like adding extra lime (for calcium and to raise the pH) and especially manganese should help. Low manganese is probably going to be an ...
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4 votes

Excess Zinc in garden soil

The front bed looks unusual; high pH, high metals Zn, Cu and Fe. Looks like some contribution from domestic scrap metals. High pH and phosphorus could be TSP used to clean something. Maybe grow ...
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  • 7,706
4 votes
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Excess Zinc in garden soil

"Toxicity" is about plant. Some will not growth well. It is not about human toxicity (which depends on plants). Mushroom could have more zinc, in general compost could have more metals (and if you ...
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3 votes

Is there a soil sieving and packing procedure to ensure equal moisture distribution?

This is very interesting. First, there must be some discussion about this in the literature about soil moisture probes since they basically conductivity as a function of soil moisture. Second, I think ...
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  • 6,947
3 votes

What is the average Haney Test composting results for a pile of wood chips?

Disregarding the papers written by Haney himself, the consensus seems to be that the results are fairly meaningless. For example https://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/ag/nutrientdigest/2015-summer....
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  • 11.2k
3 votes

How to remedy lead in soil?

If you're worried, do the test and see if there are metals and other hazards present. If you have neighbors with children, perhaps they can share the cost. Plants have been used to remove heavy metals ...
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3 votes
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Can I measure chemical elements in soil myself?

Okay to get right to it, no, most of those listed nutrients aren't practical to test for at home. That said, you can get test kits, for basic info about levels of N,P,K, and pH, but they will not ...
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3 votes
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What is an accurate method to measure the C:N ratio of Bokashi pickled/composted kitchen waste?

This isn't the easiest process in the world, but you can do it. Personally, I'd call up a lab and ask if they could test it for me. Other than that, you would have to use something like a combustion ...
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  • 51.5k
3 votes

How can you analyze if a land has good soil?

Hear my words!! Soil is soil...the plant life that has adapted is very happy no matter. If you want to grow stuff that is not indigenous (vegetables) it is pretty EASY to make ANY soil great. ...
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  • 39.8k
3 votes

What soil problem would cause fruit and vegetable to grow very small?

It looks like you may be experiencing problems from a nitrogen deficiency. I'm guessing that, because the soil isn't entirely decomposed, so the undecomposed organic matter will still be pulling ...
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  • 51.5k
3 votes
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What is my apple orchard soil type?

The water in the bottle test is almost transparent, so the proportion of clay cannot be significant otherwise the water would remain murky for a long time - unless you have had the bottle standing for ...
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3 votes
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Interpreting Soil Content Survey Results

Was your contractor supposed to landscape the site with "good black dirt"? If so, he didn't. It looks like you've been given, at best, fill soil. It's predominantly clay (about 87% of the ...
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  • 13.7k
3 votes

Need help interpreting my soil test results and fertilizer recommendations

Depends on what you want to grow and how fast you want it to grow. The most noticeable item is the alkaline pH of 7.8 : most plants are best near neutral ( pH 7) or slightly acidic. That is why gypsum ...
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  • 7,706
3 votes
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How to increase nitrogen and potassium at the same time?

Most combined fertilisers won't have the ratios of the two elements you need, and will contain other trace elements too. The best solution is to follow the recommendations you've been given, even if ...
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  • 129k
2 votes

Is there an accurate way to test a mixture of multiple soils?

This question has a very simple answer: If you mixed the soil well, take small samples from several spots in the soil, and mix them well for testing. The results will be accurate. I usually take 1-2 ...
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  • 51.5k
2 votes

Soil test came back. I need help

I would say; don;t do anything, especially stop putting on fertilizer ( N P K ).
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