Soil testing - basics to best

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Soil testing - basics to best

Post  Shep on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:34 pm

Without a soil test, you really don't know where to begin a fertilization program for your garden or fields. You're operating in the dark, hoping for the best. Get a soil sample taken and get started off right.

Your local county extension office/ag agent can provide you with soil sample bags and test kits (mail-in) that will indicate basic N-P-K nutrient levels and pH. They will make recommendations based on conventional chemical fertilization parameters. Cost is around $14.00. Most garden centers or nurseries sell a basic home owners soil test kit that will provide you with about the same amount of information on a do-it-yourself scale.

If you want more extensive information about your soils, you'll need to contact a reputable soil lab. The Fertrell company provides soil test sample bags free through its dealers. Fertrell offers a much more extensive soil test that includes trace minerals, cation exchange, as well as the standard N-P-K and pH readings. They will recommend an organic based fertilization program specific to your soils, whether large or small scale, and can custom blend ingredients for larger scale operations. The cost is about $20 (slightly more than the local extension test). Contact me for free sample bags and soil test applications. I am the Fertrell dealer in this part of Kansas. See the fertilizer and soil amendment section for more information.


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