How to Test your Soil

You can use a basic soil test kit to test the levels of the three most important nutrients in the soil: Nitrogen, Potassium & Phosphorous. These three nutrients are most important because plants require them in large quantities but they are sometimes depleted from our soils. Doing a soil test allows you determine what fertilizers you need to add to improve your growing conditions.

What you need

  • Prepared soil sample
  • Glass of water
  • Soil test kit

How to prepare your soil sample

  • Prepare sample 24hrs before test
  • Choose an area of your garden (Eg. where you want to grow vegetables)
  • Take a sample of soil from the following depth
    • If growing vegetables (2 – 6 inches below soil surface)
    • If growing trees (6 – 12 inches below surface)
  • Add sample to jar of water & allow sit over night

Carrying out the soil test

  • For each of the NPK test chambers
  • Extract water from the jar of your soil sample (Using the pipette)
  • Take water from the top 2cm of the soil sample
  • Place water into the left side of the test chamber. Continue until full
  • Next using the pipette, take water from your glass of normal water and fill the right side of the water chamber
  • Next take your test capsule and add entire contents to the left side of the test chamber
  • Close the chamber, shake well and then allow to settle
  • After 30 minutes view the test chamber left side & compare it against the indicator on the right side
  • This will help you determine whether your soil is surplus or deficient in that particular nutrient

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