Soil Test

Churchmouse2March 2, 2011

All the experts say everyone should have a soil test before planting. I don't know about other states, but here in Ohio the test takes about a week and cost $15.

The best Ph for strawberries is between 5.5 and 6.5. The test will tell me what I need to do to get the best results.

Well worth the cost in my opinion.

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I have a p.h meter that costs thirty bucks and it also tests soil fertility and i just luv it and would not be without it.
A moisture meter 8-10 inch long is a great investment also.

Here is a link that might be useful: soil tester

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 7:36PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

If you do the farmer test it is about half price. The fertilizer recommendations will come back to you in acres but you might not want their fertilizer recommendations anyway. Some universities are cheaper than others. i suppose you don't have to use the one closest to you.
Yes it is well worth it- at least every other year.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:50PM
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I did a soil test (2 actually) last year and probably will take soil samples today to do it again. I am in Ohio but did not use the OSU testing services because I grow Organically and need more info than NPK and pH. So I used Spectrum analysis in Washington Courthouse, OH. Test cost $25 each IRC and I got a lot more information about my soil than I would have for the testing out of the OSU labs. Some day I would love to do a really detailed test on my farm and do each of the 320 beds but that would cost around $5K to do and take one person at least 7 days of sampling 10 hours a day to get all the soil samples.

Know that for pH it is best to have a soil tester (but when testing be sure to always use distilled water other wise the test will be wildly inaccurate) as pH changes hour to hour, day to day depending on soil moisture and the amount of electricity in the soil.

I find it is better to pay the extra $5 to $10 for a more detailed analysis of your soil than to go through the Ag School testing. A

Remember this is a tax write off

Here is a link that might be useful: Spectrum Analytic

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 4:25AM
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I did tell them the size of my planting area and they're going to braek it down to that size for recommendations. I also get a three year projection.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 5:38PM
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here in VA its free at the ag schools for farmers meaning those who are in the business of farming. the extension agent has the box and paperwork and you fill it out and then either mail it or bring it wife took ours to va tech.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:37PM
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Received my results today. I've got a 6.1 pH before I do anything. They recommend 80 lbs of lime this year. Hardly seems worth the trouble. They also gave recommendations for the next two years. Good to know were I stand before going the all the work of planting the 1000 plants due here on March 31.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:09PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I wouldn't do any lime. So many veggies prefer a lower ph (except asparagus, beets and cabbage) and potatoes like it even lower. With some compost year after year it would be perfect.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:01AM
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As close as that is, I would do anything to change it.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:36PM
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I agree. I'm going to leave it alone.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:21PM
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