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Why is soil testing important?

Soil testing helps you determine the health of your soil. It also helps you determine what nutrients you need to add, how much moisture is retained in the soil, and, with a PH meter, even the PH levels. If you are serious about the health of your lawn or garden, make sure to regularly test your soil.

  • Why should I test my soil?
    Testing your soil helps you determine what types of plants, flowers and vegetables will thrive in your garden or yard. Knowing what additives to add to your soil will save you the time and effort of failed growing seasons.

  • What do soil tests tell me about my soil?
    Soil tests will tell you the PH level of your soil, as well as the organic material contained in your soil. Drainage and runoff rate, nutrient content such as potassium and phosphorus are also revealed by these tests. This will help you determine what to add to your soil, such as fertilizer types. Water conservation efforts are met too.

  • When should I test my soil?
    As long as the ground isn't frozen, you can perform a soil sample. Many people find it helpful to test their soil in the spring before planting their flowers, vegetable gardens or lawns to determine how much to water or what additives and fertilizer to use.

  • How do I test my soil?
    You can do many soil tests yourself. From looking at the soil's color to feeling its moisture, you can get a general idea of how your soil retains water and what organic materials make up your soil. Perform a PH analysis with a PH Meter, available at most hardware or gardening stores. If you want to perform a more precise analysis of your soil, you can send a sample to a lab for further testing.
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    Tonto Basin, AZ 85553
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    The actual testing of soil is commonly performed by the farmer or gardener. Gardeners generally purchase test kits which allow very basic analysis to be done on site. PH meters are the most common of this, generally used in conjunction with charts that reveal the PH and nutrient needs of vegetables, flowers and lawns. PH meters are easy to obtain and use. Such testing is used for both adding fertilizer and determining what to plant.

    Farmers often send samples to a soil testing lab. These labs hire biology specialists, often trained at agricultural colleges, to perform the analysis. Very detailed testing is done for organic content and levels of nutrients. Potassium and phosphorus are particularly important. Laboratories also check whether soil is contaminated. They may, thus, also receive samples from sites, such as industrial plants, where environmental problems are suspected. Soil testing is important for conservation as well as enhancing the value of agriculture.

    Soil testing is used to determine exactly how much of what kind of fertilizer to use and how deep to till the land. In today's scientific agriculture, it is important for ensuring that crops grow and weeds do not, while using no more chemicals than necessary. Methods are also used to analyze water and determine soil moisture levels. Water testing is important both when contamination is suspected and to ensure that fertilizer is staying on the fields, not running off into the watershed. Testing may also indicate whether organic material needs to be added to the soil. Laboratories often classify soils by their natural PH levels and other methods.

    Soil testing laboratories will become more important in the future.




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