Soil Test Kits - Are They Accurate?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Anne58, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Hi,

    In desparation to find out where my vegetable garden soil was lacking nutrients (some plants do well, other not so well) I purchased a soil test kit from the local garden shop.

    I was fairly impressed with the simplicity of the tests and got results that I assumed were reasonably accurate. The soil nitrogen was high, phosphorus was low and potassium almost non-existant and pH about 5.5.

    I was curious as to what the local market gardener's soil test would be so I got a sample of their soil to test. My first observation was that their soil was black like coal where as mine is a dark brown in colour.
    I did the tests and got only marginal differences in the soil nutrient composition which made me wonder if those test kits are really worth the money. The plants that grow in the market gardener's plots are definately more vigourous that what I grow in my plots!

    Any comments???

    Anne
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Try sending samples to soils lab if you doubt your results. Down here you would contact local Extension office for assistance, don't know what the Province provides there.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    province provides nada as far as I know. There is a lab in Langley Nor West labs, a basic test runs about 50 or so dollars and tells you pH, organic matter, macro nutrients and MANY micro nutrients.
     
  4. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.
     
  5. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    I have heard they are reasonably accurate provided the tests are done properly. I haven't checked my results, but I have no reason to doubt the accuracy.
     
  6. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    A test such as the ones paid for, should typically be more broad and accurate than the typical test kit test that you would do yourself.

    In short, yes, they are quite accurate.

    Of course, you have to collect and deliver the samples according to the recommendations too.
     

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