Having a healthy soil is very crucial as it will ensure a healthy harvest provided you put in the required efforts. If you keep putting in efforts in a soil that is unhealthy then it’s completely useless. This is because the plants will never grow healthy as their foundation is not right.
The only thing for obtaining a healthy harvest in an unhealthy soil is by using a lot of fertilizers and other chemicals which are just too unhealthy for the end consumers.
Normally, a gardener is able to determine the soil quality by looking at how well the plants are growing. It is in direct relation with the soil quality provided you are putting in the required extra efforts to grow the plants. No matter if your plants are doing well or not, testing your soil is highly crucial.
Not only it will let you know how healthy your soil is but it will also let you know about the type and texture of your soil. This will, in turn, help you grow plants specific to that soil and thus increase the overall output and efficiency.
How To Test Your Soil?
When it comes to testing your soil then firstly you should test your soil for identifying it’s pH levels. If the soil has an ideal pH level only then the plants will be able to absorb nutrients out of it.
After you are done checking your soil pH levels then you should check it’s type, texture, and quality.
Ideally, sending your soil to a certified laboratory for testing purposes is the best choice as you will obtain real thorough results via it but if you decide to do it on your own even then it’s okay.
Here’s a step by step method for identifying and testing your soil at home by yourself.
- From about 4-6 inches below the surface level dig out some soil from multiple spots in your garden and put it in a container. If you have a fairly large garden then you should probably divide your whole garden into small parts and do separate testing for each of them following the method taught in this article.
- Get rid of any unnecessary items from your soil such as stones, sticks, pebbles and other unwanted items once you have gathered the soil from multiple spots in a container.
- Ideally, you should get enough soil to fill up your container with about half of its actual capacity. This is necessary because you will need to observe various soil layers that will form up later on in this process in order to determine your soil’s type and texture.
- Add some normal detergent to this soil along with enough water that it makes the container filled up to its 3/4 capacity.
- Close the container tightly with a cover and shake up the whole modified soil vigorously for a couple of minutes. Make sure that water, detergent, and soil get mixed nicely and there is no soil sticking to the bottom of the container.
- Now, keep the jar on a surfaced level and carefully note the changes that take place in this soil over the next few days.
- As time goes by, the soil will begin to settle and when it does so you will able to see separate layers of sand, silt, and clay. At the bottom is the sand, then is the silt and above that is the clay. Depending on the consistency of these 3 elements you can easily determine the current type and texture of your soil and to what side your soil is more dominant. The water will become clear at the top and will constitute some organic matter from the soil.
Getting your soil tested is way too necessary if you actually want results from your efforts. It’s like making sure that your foundation is correct before working on it. And against to common myths and beliefs, testing your soil is not a much of hassle. With this step by step method, you can easily get done with it.