The Fundamentals of Soil Testing

 24/01/2015

The Fundamentals of Soil Testing

Soil testing is important if you want to ensure that your plants get the right amount of nutrients and minerals necessary for them to grow and thrive. Whether you intend to grow and maintain a lawn, start gardening or get involved in any other soil related activity, soil testing should be your first step.

What Soil Testing Involves

During soil testing, things like the soil pH and nutrient content are tested. It is important to test the soil pH to see if the soil is alkaline, acidic or neutral. The pH scale is between 0 and 14 with 0 being extremely acidic and 14 being extremely alkaline. The truth is that you don’t want either.

You want your soil’s pH scale to be within the range of 6.0-7.5 –that’s between slightly acidic and alkaline. This is the perfect pH range for all soils in which you intend to plant crops. Anything more or less and your crops will most likely, not thrive well.

Soil nutrients are essential to plants’ growth. While the pH scale makes the environment habitable for the plants to thrive, the nutrients are what make the plants grow. All soils usually contain important nutrients. The nutrients in the soil are usually classified into two groups:

  • Macro nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus
  • Micro nutrients like boron, copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, chloride and iron.

These nutrients have to be present in the right proportions. Any more or less and you’ll have an imbalance in the soil. This could cause anything from nitrates leaching into the soil and water bodies to plants wilting and dying.

Soil testing helps ascertain all these. For instance, most soils don’t need any more phosphorus at the moment or anytime in the foreseeable future. This is because the amount of phosphorus that has been added to the soil by past farmers and gardeners who didn’t know that it had to be regulated is enough to last for hundreds of years.

Benefits of Soil Testing

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing some garden soil testing or testing huge acres of land for intensive farming, the benefits are just about the same.

  1. Helps ascertain the pH levels in the soil and ensures that there’s enough nutrients available for the plants.
  2. Helps the gardener or farmer ensure that nutrient intake by the plants will be optimal.
  3. Saves a lot of money that would have hitherto been spent on needless organic and inorganic fertilisers.
  4. Can help you determine what to do about the soil’s fertility and successfully develop a garden or soil fertility program that will aid and improve your plant’s chances of success.
  5. Impacts the environment positively by ensuring that there’s no leakage of nutrients into surrounding water bodies. This means that people are then able to safely drink the water from those sources without being exposed to toxic levels of chemicals leached from the soil.
  6. Ensures that your planting project is successful.

Now that you know what the fundamentals of garden soil testing and all other types of soil testing are, it’s time to go get some soil testing done. Get in touch with Envirolab.com.au for all basic and comprehensive soil testing procedures. Visit www.envirolab.com.au today for more information.  


News list