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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old May 18, 2017   #1
OzoneNY
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Default Who is soil testing?

Looking for suggestions and experiences. Where do you get your soil tested? Was it worth it and how long did it take? Did the information make any difference?
I am considering a test for my garden soil but before I just google search I figured I would get some experiences from tville.
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Old May 18, 2017   #2
cjp1953
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Had mine tested a few years back.Well worth it,cost around $20,kit and postage to send it into Penn.State University.Took a few weeks to get the results.I bought mine from a local feed and supply store.
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Old May 18, 2017   #3
brownrexx
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I get mine tested annually at Penn State and it is $9 plus postage to mail it there.

Results showed that all of my nutrients were high so no need to add anything except some side dressing of nitrogen. I find soil testing to be very worthwhile but it is better to have it tested near where you live because the specifications that they use are developed by crop testing in your state. TX soil is different than PA soil so naturally expectations would be different.

The time it takes for the test to be processed depends on how busy they are at the lab. I had results in early spring in less than a week but it will take longer if they have 100 samples to test at the same time.
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Old May 18, 2017   #4
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I dont and never have.
I already know what I need to do and when.
Sounds like the words of an idiot but it works fantastically for me.
Right now I couldn't ask for anything better in my soil.
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Old May 18, 2017   #5
SteveP
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I haven't done it yet, but it is available through the County Extension Office. I don't think it very expensive and I am always curious and just kind of wing it by the way the tomatoes are looking and growing.
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Old May 20, 2017   #6
BigVanVader
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Had mine done this year through local extension. I'm growing for market otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. Everything was high besides nitrogen. If you soil build that will normally be the result.
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Old May 20, 2017   #7
jtjmartin
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In Virginia our extension service tests through Virginia Tech. $12 for garden and $12 for lawn. All my levels were on the high side of good. Good to know something wasn't way off.
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Old May 20, 2017   #8
Dak
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I've been using http://loganlabs.com/. They have a pretty quick turnaround and are very easy to work with. Standard soil test, $25. The guy I was working with needed another test done to determine true CEC and % cation saturation, I remember being impressed that they hadn't tossed my sample yet.
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Old May 22, 2017   #9
Barbee
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I use A&L West Labs. I test every year. In my opinion, its the best thing you can buy for your garden. They tell you exactly what you need to add for optimum results.
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Old May 22, 2017   #10
PaulF
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I test on an every other or every third year and do mine in the fall to prepare for the next spring and summer. Nebraska's County Extension stopped doing their own soil testing a few years back so we use Mid-West Labs in Omaha. $10 plus $2 shipping with a couple weeks turn-around. I think I know my soil but better to really know than think I know. My main concern is pH, organics and N levels and keeping it all in balance.
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Old May 22, 2017   #11
whistech
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Ozone, since you are in Texas, here's the one I recommend.

http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/
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Old May 25, 2017   #12
Lindalana
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It depends what you following. If you are NPK traditional gardener, then local extension just fine and less expensive.
Once you go into "alchemy" of biological gardening I have found best those 3 sites. They are slightly different in how they test. There also some informational articles on each site.
http://www.loganlabs.com/testing-services.html
https://www.aglabs.com/soiltesting.html
http://www.cropservicesintl.com/soil-testing/
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Old May 25, 2017   #13
brownrexx
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I recommend that before you send out a soil sample that you look at a sample of their soil test report and make sure that it is something that you can understand and that will be meaningful to your garden.

I like a report that gives recommended ranges so that I can see if my values are within the optimum range. Just telling me how many pounds per acre that I have or need is not meaningful to me as I am not a farmer. My soil test from PA State can be performed either for farmers or for home gardeners and the values will be listed differently.
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Old May 26, 2017   #14
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The larger labs will have a box you can check for per acre or per 1000 sq ft. Unless your garden is huge, the 1000 sq ft can really help you math wise. I agree with brownrexx that its important to find a lab that you can understand. The lab i use has a graph feature and will do recommendations of how much you need to apply for optimum results. The test i order is a complete lab work up with npk, ph, om, macro, and micros. Cec, enc, on and on. I grow giant watermelons as a hobby so i like to tune into all the nutrients.
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