This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, March 24, 2008

soil test

Today I'll try to get some soil collected and start preparing it to send out for a soil test. I've never tested the bed adjacent to the house. Its important to check it for lead, as well as nutrients I may need to adjust.

I'll collect a small sample from 10 or 12 locations in the bed. They all get mixed together in a bowl and I'll leave the bowl uncovered for a few days to dry out, stirring it now and then. Then one cup of the soil goes into a labeled zip-lock baggie and is sent out.

I was going to wait until I got my community plot assignment and do both at the same time. But since that's not until April 12, I think I'll go ahead with this bed now.

Here's a link to my last soil test results for my raised bed area (two years ago). Here's a link showing my baggie full of dirt from the last sample. I sent my sample to Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Mass. Here's the brochure with collection instructions, prices and the mailing address. It was just over a week for the results to come back, if I remember right.

Like last time, I will have them do the Standard Soil Test w/ Organic Matter (option C) for $13.00 per sample.

topic: soil



Anonymous Patrick said...

That's funny. I just got back from my garden where I took a soil sample for testing. I just sat down and pulled up this post on the computer.

I also have to let my soil dry out a few days. I don't have anything as convenient as a testing lab to do the work for me (at least as far as I know), but I've purchased a soil testing kit.

If I get sensible results, I'll post about it in a few days...

March 24, 2008 2:19 PM

Blogger kathy said...

A timely topic I guess. I'm curious what you can test for with your kit. I'll have to check your site to see your results.

I meant to do this last fall and then I didn't. Now that planting time is near, I need do it soon. I should go collect my sample but I'm procrastinating today about everything .... One of those Monday things...

March 24, 2008 3:32 PM

Blogger Tanya said...

Has anyone used the Rapitest home soil test kit? It does 10 each of pH, N, P and K. The kit runs $15-20. I have six beds I'd like to test and at $13/test, I don't think I'm willing to pay for the excellent service provided by UMass.

April 30, 2008 1:51 PM

Blogger Mrs. Finch said...

I decided to go with the test from Umass because I was also concerned about the lead levels in the home plot. Since I was already sending one sample out, I sent out the community garden one as well.

April 23, 2009 2:11 PM


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