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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 39.9k
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 ...
  • 1,640
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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 130k
5 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 51.6k
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, ...
  • 19.9k
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 ...
  • 11.3k
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 ...
4 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 39.9k
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 ...
  • 130k
4 votes
Accepted

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 ...
4 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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 ...
  • 8,126
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 ...
  • 6,977
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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....
  • 11.3k
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. ...
  • 39.9k
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 ...
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 51.6k
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 51.6k
3 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 16.3k
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 ...
  • 8,126
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 ...
  • 130k
2 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 1,699
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 ...
2 votes

Soil test came back. I need help

I would say; don;t do anything, especially stop putting on fertilizer ( N P K ).
  • 8,126
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 ...
  • 11.3k
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 ...
  • 130k
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 ...

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