Vegetables and Fruit forum: Home Soil Testing

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Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Mar 23, 2014 12:45 PM CST
Just curious what you all think. I moved my veggie garden and have new beds/soil for this year. The beds are filled with native soil and compost from the community compost. I want to check my soil before planting (still a long way off) and would like to hear comments and suggestions from you guys about what tests are necessary (is pH and NPK enough or should I check calcium, iron and magnesium, too? Magnesium is so important for things like tomatoes, but I don't think most soils are too deficient in it) and, the best way to get the test done. The UofM extension service will do a basic pH NPK test for $17, Ca, Mg are another $7. I can buy a soil test kit, which I am leaning towards for $17-$35 depending on what the kit tests and how many tests are included. The one that seems to everywhere is the Rapitest ( by Lusterleaf)-any yeas, nays or comments about this test or suggestions for another?
Thanks for your input!
Deb
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 23, 2014 1:28 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I've tested my soil a few times, and I always use the local extension service. I can't remember the exact price but it was reasonable. You mail a ziplock bag of your soil to the university and a couple weeks later you get a really nice report.
Name: Deb
Buffalo, Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Region: Minnesota Birds Cactus and Succulents Hostas Hummingbirder
dmurray407
Mar 24, 2014 12:29 PM CST
Thanks, Dave!!
Deb
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Mar 24, 2014 1:53 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you.

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