In Lowes I noticed a soil test kit for NPK and pH for 12 bucks.
Comprised of 4 small tubes and small pills for the nutrient tests. 10
tests in all. I was wondering if anyone has and experience with these
Thanks in advance.
I use them. It's faster (and less expensive) than sending samples to
your local extension service. Make sure you use super clean
containers and distilled water. Be careful when collecting your
sample. Testing your soil is highly recommended and you'll know
exactly to buy to improve the soil.
They are not as accurate as a laboratory analysis, but they will give
you some indication of your soil nutrient level. In my experience, the
trickiest (least accurate) measurement is N and the easiest is pH.
Consider them qualitative tests. They won't tell you how much of any
given fertilizer to add, but they can tell you whether you need any or
can save your money.
When doing the pH test, try plain water first to see if your water is
acid or alkaline. It's probably not necessary to go to distilled water
unless your home water has real problems. Even then, bottled spring
water should be OK for the tests and it's cheaper than distilled water.
Here's a page from the Thomas Register that covers the subject matter.
Looking at some of the products, the price range for run of the mill testing
is about $300. This is considerably more than $12, but these kits are
probably for people who want to do a home base business.
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