Are soil testing kits accurate?

May, 2022
Darren Spalding

I find that the meter's visual pH ideal is set too high, with a pH of 7-8 soil considered “optimal” if you're realistically aiming for a pH of 6-7 for most plant growth. It doesn't offer micronutrient testing, but most home kits don't. So that's not surprising. With a soil chemical test kit, you have a limited number of uses depending on how many capsules or vials of reagent are in your kit. With a soil chemical test kit, you have a limited number of uses depending on how many capsules or vials of reagent are in your kit.

Let's be completely honest with ourselves, no inexpensive home kit will match the accuracy of a lab test. However, when compared to a professional ground probe, the test results are surprisingly accurate given the price of this type of test.

What is the most accurate soil tester?

The kit includes over 450 plants to choose from with pH settings, so you know when and how to adjust the pH in your soil for each plant. Soil testers and test kits range from simple pH strips to complex chemicals that show deficiencies. Various soil testing products are available to determine the amount of different nutrients and macronutrients in the soil. Hobby farmers and plant growers can obtain expert soil analysis with this soil test kit from the Whitetail Institute.

Soil treatments are available that either raise or lower soil pH, depending on what the gardener is growing.

Can I test my own soil?

Cost-effective, easy, and accurate soil testing provides a wealth of knowledge of what's going on under your feet, including pH, calcium, lime, gypsum, and potassium. More comprehensive testing is usually available for a small fee by sending a sample to the university that sponsors the extension service in your state. For best results, contact the extension's service office for instructions on taking samples and collecting samples. You can bring a soil sample to your local extension service office and in most cases it will do a pH test free of charge.

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