The Q&A Archives: soil tester

Question: I have been looking at electronic soil testers. Do you have any advice regarding them? How does their accuracy compare to county extension office soil testing?

Answer: Knowing your soil's pH can help you determine whether or not you need to incorporate specific amendments to keep it in balance. Testing the soil yourself will give you an indication of the soil's pH, but won't guide you in changing it (if that's necessary). Using your local Extension Office for testing will provide you with the test results plus recommendations for amendments if a need is indicated. If you've never had your soil tested you might want to have it done by your Extension Office or private lab. You'll get a complete rundown of pH, nutrients, percentage of organic matter, soil type and texture, along with recommendations for improvements. I'd go with the university's soil testing lab. It's worth the fee they charge.

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