Why Soil Testing is Indispensable to Gardening Success

 03/02/2015

Why Soil Testing is Indispensable to Gardening Success

Soil testing has become increasingly important nowadays. This is largely because of the residual impact of toxic chemicals on the soil. Testing your soil before embarking on any soil related activity is important. This is for the success of any land or soil related activity that you want to embark upon.

Since most soil related activities often have to do with planting crops, it is always important to find out what the soil composition is and its chemical properties. Knowledge of these two things will often help you decide if the soil is suitable for your intended purposes.

Detection of Potential Problems

Soil testing can be compared to disease diagnosis in the hospital. It helps you see potential or even present problems. Even better is the fact that with this insight into the current state of the soil, you can actually take steps to either mitigate any future occurrences or find some remedy for any current problems.

That being said, if you will be doing some planting, you need to test the soil to determine just how much lime and fertiliser you need to apply. The good thing about this is that if there’s a significant amount of these present in the soil already, you’ll only be able to apply just the right amount of lime and fertiliser that will aid the plant’s growth.

Better Soil Property Regulation

Without soil testing however, it is possible for you to add way more than you need to. Excessive amounts of fertiliser in your soil will result in soluble salts injury which often results in root burns. Root burns are dangerous to garden plants because it inhibits the plant’s capacity to take in water and nutrients from the root. The result therefore, is that the plants will most likely wilt and die.

Then, there’s the infamous leaching of nitrates into groundwater which can result in severe health conditions like “blue baby”, coma or even death for children and adults who drink the water from that source. The application of excess inorganic fertiliser –nitrogen fertiliser particularly- could result in the rapid growth and spread of pests. Not just that, it can also help those pests become more resistant to pesticides, while further increasing the growth rate of weeds.

Works for Both Organic and Inorganic Fertilisers

Please note that soil tests should not just be restricted to soils that will require inorganic fertilisers. You should also test for organic fertilisers as the sudden release of excess organic nutrients into the soil can be counterproductive to your plant’s growth. Through soil testing, you can accurately determine the various nutrient requirements of the soil.

Soil testing is a smart decision as you also get to save the money that you would have spent on excess fertilisers and nutrients. You also get to help keep the environment healthy by preventing the excess leaching of phosphorus and nitrate into water bodies. So, before you do anything soil related, try getting a soil test done. It’s worth it in the short and long run. 


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