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Tests for various soil characteristics including nutritional and contaminant content.

Soils can be tested for a wide range of characteristics. These can be used to help diagnose problems (eg. due to a mineral deficiency), guarantee safe crops (eg. no heavy metal contaminants in the soil), or provide pointers as to the best kind of plants to grow (eg. according to acidity).

Many soil test kits are available from nurseries and big box garden stores. Specialist tests and services are also available.

Some of the tests that might be considered:

  • Major nutrients (NPK) - fix with fertilizer
  • Minor and secondary nutrients (Ca,Mg, Fe, Cu, etc)
  • Acidity (pH) - different plants prefer different acidities
  • Contamination (from air, ground water, industry, gas stations, dry cleaning, etc)
  • General composition (humus,sand,mud,clay)

Use this tag for all questions about soil tests and testing.