Soil Test Kit Comparison
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Soil Test Kit Buying Guide
What is a Soil Test Kit?
If you grow anything, then you know that you need to fertilize your plants so that they will grow optimally. Healthy and strong plants need fertilizer so that they will grow quickly, but to really know what your soil needs you have to use a soil test kit. There are a number of soil testers on the market that help you to do just that, and they test different qualities of the soil so that you have all the information that you need to give them the right pH.
Before you purchase a soil test kit, you need to know what’s available on the market and exactly what kind of kit is right for you. You also need to know how to keep the tester in good condition so that it works properly all year round. This buyer’s guide will help lead the way so that you can find what you’re looking for and know what accessories you may need.
Why test the soil?
You absolutely need to test the soil before you add any fertilizer because you need to be familiar with the pH and TDS levels, the temperature, and so much more. This will give you a good sense of what the soil is lacking and what it needs to be as strong as possible. When you have a high quality soil tester you’re able to understand the specific qualities of your soil with one handy tool, and this will make your fertilization the most accurate and easy.
Aside from figuring out what fertilizer you’re going to need, a good test kit will help you to understand which plants are going to grow in the soil optimally. Not all climates are geared towards growing various plants, and a test kit is going to help you to figure this out. If you put the wrong plants in the soil, then you’re wasting your time and money, because those crops are going to fail.
A soil test kit will also help you steer away from over-fertilization, which is very bad for the crop. When you over-fertilize, you’re making the crops grow too quickly, and this leaves them susceptible to diseases. In fact, by testing the soil there are many issues that you’re going to be able to avoid, and that’s why it’s important to test regularly, and to always test for the right things.
There are many different soil traits that need to be tested for, so you should be aware of what specific things that you’re keeping track of. One of the most common things to be tested is the soil pH. When you know the pH you can use the soil optimally, because different crops require different pH levels. You can measure the pH on a scale of one to fourteen, with seven being the neutral pH.
Any level that is under seven is considered to be acidic, while everything above is going to be alkaline. When the soil is too acidic the chemicals in the fertilizer are going to stick to soil particles, and in this condition the particles will not get to the plants. Check the label on the seeds or talk with a professional to determine what pH is best for the plants you’re trying to grow. Be sure to not test soil right after fertilization because the results are always going to be off at this time.
Something else that you’re going to want to test is the conductivity of the soil. You can measure this in two ways. TDS is the total dissolved solids, and this measures how much fertilizer is in the soil already. While electrical conductivity measures the amount of nutrients in the soil. When you know these levels you have a better sense of what is in your soil, and then from this you are able to conclude how much fertilizer you’re going to need. Keep in mind that only the nutrients that have dissolved in the soil are going to be available for the crops.
The soil temperature is a measurement that you also must have, and it helps you to decide how and what to grow. There are many different crops that will require different soil temperatures in order to germinate, so before you plant anything be sure to test the temperature of the soil. This should be measured at plant depth and not on the surface. You want to refer to the seed packaging to figure out what the ideal temperature for the specific plant is. You can also talk to an experienced grower to determine this.
You’re going to see that there are a number of different soil testers on the market, and they have various combinations of measurements. When you’re looking to simply test the pH, you can find an affordable soil pH meter that will do just that. There are also other meters available that measure moisture and light as well. When you seek to measure pH and conductivity, there are a variety of testers to choose from that combine these measurements. Also, determine if you’re interested in measuring EC and TDS as well.
For those who want to monitor their soil activities closely, there is a soil testing kit, like the top rated ones mentioned above, which give you enough equipment to perform various different tasks with one device. All of these kits come in a durable kit with instructions for how to perform each of the various tests. Should you not be sure what measurements you’re interested in, then contact a professional to see what kind of kit you need to satisfy your unique needs.
If you want consistently accurate measurements from your soil tester, then you need to maintain it so that it works properly. Always use your test with the appropriate calibration solution, and keep it clean and properly stored at all times.
For a kit to work optimally year round, it needs to be properly cared for, and that’s why you need to be familiar with the appropriate steps you need to take so that your test is working optimally at all times. Your test kit should come with instructions for how to maintain it throughout the seasons. When you care for your kit, it’s going to last you for years to come.
Owning a soil test kit is your best bet for getting the readings that you need, to know how to optimize your soil. There are numerous test kits on the market, but you can be sure that when you buy one of the top rated kits that you’re getting a product that is going to give you accurate readings when you need them most. All of the top rated kits are popular among growers because they’re easy to use and will test various different elements all with one device. They’re also lightweight enough to take on the go and affordable for most customers.
When you decide that you need a kit, you can be confident purchasing one of the top rated models. Should you want to learn more about the kits, our buyer’s guide will help you to understand what these kits do and what they can help you achieve with your soil. When you want the optimum growing environment for your crop, you need to know what you’re dealing with in terms of the soil composition, and that’s why a soil test kit will get you on the fast track to growing the healthy crops that you desire.