soil test

Today I’ll try to get some soil collected and start preparing it to send out for a soil test. I’ve never tested the bed adjacent to the house. Its important to check it for lead, as well as nutrients I may need to adjust.

I’ll collect a small sample from 10 or 12 locations in the bed. They all get mixed together in a bowl and I’ll leave the bowl uncovered for a few days to dry out, stirring it now and then. Then one cup of the soil goes into a labeled zip-lock baggie and is sent out.

I was going to wait until I got my community plot assignment and do both at the same time. But since that’s not until April 12, I think I’ll go ahead with this bed now.

Here’s a link to my last soil test results for my raised bed area (two years ago). Here’s a link showing my baggie full of dirt from the last sample. I sent my sample to Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Mass. Here’s the brochure with collection instructions, prices and the mailing address. It was just over a week for the results to come back, if I remember right.

Like last time, I will have them do the Standard Soil Test w/ Organic Matter (option C) for $13.00 per sample.

topic: soil

4 Comments. Leave new

  • That’s funny. I just got back from my garden where I took a soil sample for testing. I just sat down and pulled up this post on the computer.

    I also have to let my soil dry out a few days. I don’t have anything as convenient as a testing lab to do the work for me (at least as far as I know), but I’ve purchased a soil testing kit.

    If I get sensible results, I’ll post about it in a few days…

  • A timely topic I guess. I’m curious what you can test for with your kit. I’ll have to check your site to see your results.

    I meant to do this last fall and then I didn’t. Now that planting time is near, I need do it soon. I should go collect my sample but I’m procrastinating today about everything …. One of those Monday things…

  • Has anyone used the Rapitest home soil test kit? It does 10 each of pH, N, P and K. The kit runs $15-20. I have six beds I’d like to test and at $13/test, I don’t think I’m willing to pay for the excellent service provided by UMass.

  • I decided to go with the test from Umass because I was also concerned about the lead levels in the home plot. Since I was already sending one sample out, I sent out the community garden one as well.


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