Tuesday, 21 March 2023 18:27

What’s The Purpose Of A Soil Test Kit?

soil test kit soil test kit pixabay

Modern agriculture embraces soil testing to manage fertilizer application for increased crop production. A healthy garden or lawn requires specific nutrients for growth. Without soil testing, it will be challenging to establish the correct fertilizer application for optimum yields.


Soil testing allows you to measure the nutrient content of your soil and the PH values. This way, you can decide on the changes to aid in healthier soil and crops.

Read on to understand the purpose of a soil test kit.

Test Soil pH

Plant growth depends on the soil pH, which determines the alkalinity or acidity of the soil. The pH scale runs from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic, while above 7 is alkaline.

Soils can be acidic or alkaline, depending on your location. However, ideal soil should be neutral, with a pH of 6-7. Using a soil test kit, you will establish your soil pH range, and if above or below, adjust accordingly.

Very high or low pH outside the normal range will cause plants to struggle with nutrient absorption through the roots. The result will be a nutrient deficiency, causing stunted growth or yellowing of leaves. On the other hand, some plants have unique pH ranges and will thrive in acidic or alkaline soils. Therefore, researching the plant before making soil adjustments is advisable.

Determination Of Fertilizer Application

Plants need macronutrients in large quantities to thrive and micronutrients in fewer amounts. You can use a soil test kit to establish the concentration of the following micronutrients:

  • Nitrogen, which contributes to the production of chlorophyll that gives plants their green color
  • Phosphorus, which strengthens the root system
  • Potassium, which promotes healthy growth

Most fertilizer bags contain these macronutrients indicated as NPK, respectively, with a number showing the concentration of each nutrient in the fertilizer.

How To Test Your Soil Using A Soil Test Kit

You can use a soil test kit to test your soil at home. Insert the meter probe into the ground using the testing meters to check the ph levels. Depending on the results, you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions for solutions.

You require a clean plastic container and a garden trowel to collect soil for analysis. Next, you will dig strategic holes within your lawn up to 8 inches deep and collect a slice from each hole into the bucket. Finally, mix the collected soil and spread it on a newspaper to air dry before picking a pint for your sample.

Collecting your soil samples when fairly dry is advisable to avoid a false test reading. Also, you can check your soil more than once to verify the test results.

Be Consistent In Soil Testing

Different stores stock test kits, and selecting one that uses a synthetic root for nutrient absorption is ideal instead of baking or grinding the soil. Test kits are also available to individuals depending on their prowess levels. A starter pack simplifies sample collection, while veterans can rely on Pro packs. Whatever your preference, you should stick with it to the end to easily monitor your lawn’s progress.