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 ...
Ben Welborn's user avatar
  • 1,595
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 ...
stormy's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Ben Welborn's user avatar
  • 1,595
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 ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
5 votes
Accepted

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, ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 23.8k
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 ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 1,670
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 ...
alephzero's user avatar
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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 ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
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 ...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
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 ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,714
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 ...
Jurp's user avatar
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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 ...
Colin Beckingham's user avatar
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 ...
That Idiot's user avatar
  • 7,039
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....
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
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 ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.3k
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 ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,714
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
3 votes

Leachfield and fruit trees - bad combination?

As far as the fruit, it is very probably safe from a health effect point of view. Fertilizer of all sorts, way worse than a septic tank, gets used on food crops all the time. There isn't really ...
Boba Fit's user avatar
  • 738
2 votes
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How to manage soil high in calcium and sulphur?

I think your idea of top dressing the lawn with compost is a good one. Do that. Adding organic material to soil is almost always a good thing. Is grass growing alright there already? Just keep ...
Tyler K.'s user avatar
  • 1,729
2 votes

How to manage soil high in calcium and sulphur?

I find them very strange. High sulfur is (as far I know) not problematic. High calcium is common in chalky soils (so also in clay soils). You will find some method to reduce it (which is the same ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
2 votes

Soil test came back. I need help

I would say; don;t do anything, especially stop putting on fertilizer ( N P K ).
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,714
2 votes

What should general PH and nutrient levels be for new planting bed after amendments?

You forgot one of the fundamental rules of debugging any system, whether it is a doctor requesting tests on a patient, someone debugging a computer program, or anything else: if you don't know in ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
2 votes

Can good soil turn bad?

It should be okay - if there's a weed growing in it, its obviously not toxic, though it might by now be full of weed seeds, as well as being relatively inert because its been baked by the sun and ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
2 votes

Soil chemistry problem -- too high conductivity

Normally for high EC we would tend to suspect very fine clay particles in the compost being tested, but from the description it sounds as though you have used a method (all liquid) that eliminates ...
Colin Beckingham's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

UK equivalent of US University Soil "Extension" Offices

In short, no; the RHS is interested in unusual problems, especially new disease symptoms, and if you are a member, may identify a plant for you. Kew Gardens offers a similar service, but there is ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
2 votes

Can there be a calcium deficiency despite plenty of calcium in the soil test

The test results also give "excess lime results as - HIGH ", so the soil has plenty of calcium. Root hairs can generate enzymes and " other stuff" as necessary to solubilize ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,714
2 votes

Soil TestResults show low P and high PH, vegetables are already in, what should I do? Help!

It is very difficult to change pH of soil. Apparently your soil contains a lot of calcium , lime stone. Likely you will need pounds of aluminum sulfate per square foot , regularly, to move pH. Better ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,714
2 votes
Accepted

Placement of soil sensors

I've done sensor measurements with my hydroponics setups and haven't done them in soil, but I can give some insights especially regarding pH sensing. To quickly answer your question: up to you how ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 401
2 votes
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Soil test results + need help understanding the recommendation

First, the recommendation is specific to target crops, so confirm that you're after a lawn (perennial ryegrass) and not veggies or shrubs. Some soil tests will give multiple recommendations depending ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 401
2 votes
Accepted

Distilled water (pH 5.5 due to dissolved CO2) recommended for soil test - Do I need to adjust reading?

The pH of distilled water makes no difference when being used to make a solution with ionizing materials. The quantity of ionic material in the distilled water is negligible relative to the total.
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,714

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