Get exclusive content, advice, and tips from BestReviews delivered to your inbox. Light exposure: Instant-read probes can check how much light a particular spot in your garden receives to help you determine whether an area gets enough sunlight to host heat-loving plants such as tomato or eggplant. Unless you’re a farmer, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to know the exact pH level of your soil. Professional Results Provide Custom Fertilizer Prescription for Your Yard and Grass : Garden & Outdoor Some at-home kits also enable you to check the nutrient composition of your soil. If you are concerned about lead in your soil, you can request a supplemental soil test for lead. 1 - Take a Soil Sample 2 - … Like, comment, subcribe! NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the primary nutrients required by plants to survive. Author: Before doing so, however, consider adding organic matter to your garden. Using amendments like compost or worm castings also helps improve the microorganism content in the soil, which can slowly lower pH over time. At-home and mail-in test kits provide additional information on your soil’s composition. If you find your soil’s pH isn’t within that range, you might need to take some corrective measures. What do I do if my soil’s pH isn’t ideal? - Product Description. Since coffee grounds have a nearly neutral pH (6.8), it’s unlikely that adding them will affect your soil’s pH. If your soil has fewer than 10 worms, add more organic matter—compost, aged manure, leaf mold. For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at anrcommunications@anr.msu.edu. Fill a soil sample box with the sample, or package about a pint of soil. Soil testing determines whether your soil is acidic, neutral or alkaline. They also can be used as aids in determining fertilizer needs. We recommend adding coffee grounds to your compost pile instead of directly around plants just to be safe. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. Its double-needle soil sensor enhances the speed and accuracy of readings. Soil tests can be used to estimate the kinds and amounts of soil nutrients available to plants. Mark Cullen explains how to use a soil test kit and how to amend your soil based on the test results. Pick up a soil box and information form from the MSU Extension Office. Some mail-in kits can also provide you with region-specific planting suggestions and advice on how to remedy any deficiencies in your soil. Your … The more accurate and detailed the analysis, the better equipped you’ll be to care for your soil. Soil testing probes are typically designed for both indoor and outdoor use, but some models with wireless capabilities are designed specifically for use with indoor plants. April 2, 2012 10 Best Soil Test Kit Reviews. This low-priced kit gives you more complex measurements than some others. The Soil Savvy testing kit provides you with a fully detailed report of everything your soil has. For more information about these tests, please contact the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab via email (spnlab@msu.edu) or phone (517-355-0218). Most mail-in soil testing kits offer suggestions for corrective measures. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Measures soil pH level and 13 different nutrient levels. Keweenaw County, Houghton County, Ontonagon County, Baraga County, Gogebic County, Iron County, Dickinson County, Menominee County, Delta County, Marquette County, Alger County, Luce County, Chippewa County, Mackinac County, Emmet County, Cheboygan County, Presque Isle County, Alpena County, Montmorency County, Leelanau County, Bindu Bhakta An accurate and user-friendly soil test that offers information about your soil's pH as well as moisture and sunlight levels. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. A. A professional lab test will provide you with the most accurate results. We purchase every product we review with our own funds — Good for beginning gardeners thanks to detailed instructions. Overall, mail-in kits are the most accurate. Most models provide basic information such as light exposure, pH, and moisture content. Find soil test kits at Lowe's today. Soil Test Kit includes everything you need to perform ten tests for each of the following factors: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and pH (acidity/alkalinity). The medium box will hold about 25 samples, and costs $11.95 to send. There is a waiting period involved, but mail-in results are typically very accurate. This soil test kit from Luster Leaf is one of the most popular on the market because it features a reading of test colors that utilizes advanced LED digital technology.All you need to do is push the test button to get your results within seconds, and the kit includes a pH preferences feature with over 450 plants. Different products provide different readings and data for you to better understand your soil. BestReviews wants to be better. The NEW Home Yard and Garden Soil Test Mailer can be used to process any type of home soil sample (lawn, vegetable garden, tree, shrub, flower and tree/small fruit) and will be available at the MSU Extension Office OR through the MSU Extension Bookstore www.bookstore.msue.msu.edu. Planting in highly acidic soil stunts plant growth and limits nutrient absorption. Download the app (iPhone or Android), run the 20-minute test and see your results!It is that simple. Each area (lawn, flower garden, vegetable garden, etc.) Units Add to cart. Regardless of your soil testing knowledge, you will find the microBIOMETER® soil test extremely easy to perform. Extensive results give you the info needed to add the right amount of fertilizer to your soil. Some instant-read soil tests are WiFi enabled, allowing you to check on soil health via a smartphone app. bhaktabi@msu.edu. At-home kits are a great choice for little scientists-to-be or gardeners who are looking for a more hands-on testing option. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. Since coffee grounds have a nearly neutral pH (6.8), it’s unlikely that adding them will affect your soil’s pH. Some mail-in kits can also provide you with region-specific planting suggestions and advice on how to remedy any deficiencies in your soil. If the pH isn’t right, the plants may not absorb the nutrients they need – even if you’re adding fertilizer. Certain seeds require specific temperatures to germinate, so knowing how warm the earth is can help guide your planting schedule. Soil testing is a recommended practice to avoid over fertilization. Will adding coffee grounds to my garden affect the pH of my soil? Getting accurate NPK data is crucial, and soil test kits provide an easy, convenient way to figure out how much of each nutrient is in your soil. Combine all samples into the plastic pail and mix thoroughly. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An easy-to-use soil kit that offers a variety of soil readings and measurements. If you think you have a nutrient imbalance in your soil, we recommend mail-in kits to get the most detailed information regarding your soil’s health. Why does pH matter? Before heading to the hardware store or local garden warehouse for bags of fertilizer, you need to know a bit more about your soil. This 4-in-1 Soil Test Kit is really useful for those looking for digital accuracy out in the garden.. For more information, please contact the MSU Soil & Plant Nutrient Lab at 517-355-0218. Plants Tests: 24 - 48 Hours. Get ahold of your state or local Extension office to find out where you can submit soil for testing and where to get the forms. lead, arsenic, pesticides) or water contaminants (e.g. The first step to achieving a beautiful lawn. Properly conducted soil sampling and testing can be cost-effective indicators of the types and amounts of fertilizer and lime needed to improve crop yield. If you are doing food plots, you have to do a soil test or you are throwing money away. Not all soil test kits are the same. Q. All you need is a microBIOMETER® Starter Kit and a smartphone and you are ready to test the microbes in your soil. Applying the correct amount of fertilizer can save money and protect Michigan's water resources. Fill the soil test vial with water until you reach the dotted line. Battery-free. Most mail-in soil testing kits offer suggestions for corrective measures. It’s essential to find out the composition and alkalinity or acidity of your soil before adding fertilizer. Mail-in lab test: This type of test requires you to take a soil sample and mail it to a lab for analysis. Good value. Regardless of the option you choose, you can expect to pay between $10 and $20 for a soil test kit. Some WiFi soil testers are capable of alerting you to nutrient deficiencies, too. This information is for educational purposes only. Here’s how. Soil test may refer to one or more of a wide variety of soil analysis conducted for one of several possible reasons. The most important nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (abbreviated as NPK). Depending on the work load at the Soil Testing Lab, it will generally take 10 days to two weeks to receive your results, after it is received at the MSU Soil Nutrient and Plant Lab. Collect a soil sample, mail it in, and get expert results you can actually use. The display typically has a dial, and the device usually doesn’t require batteries. A soil test is a process by which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper and zinc) are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their \"plant available\" content within the sample. enabled, allowing you to check on soil health via a smartphone app. lead, arsenic, pesticides) or water contaminants (e.g. Some at-home kits also enable you to check the nutrient composition of your soil. Most models provide basic information such as light exposure, pH, and moisture content. Worried about the cost? Purchase a soil test mailing kit ($9.00) for each area you plan to sample. The device can take roughly ten minutes to provide results. Instant-read probes: These soil testers feature a probe (sometimes two) that you push into the soil to get data instantly. The "kit" consists of a pre-addressed envelope, instructions, and a soil sample bag. Q. When it comes to getting info on moisture, pH, and light, a soil tester probe is a convenient, inexpensive tool that can help you quickly pinpoint whether you’re overwatering plants, planting in an area that’s too shaded, or have a severe pH issue. Type of Test: Chemical The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. Extremely easy to use. Whitetail Institute's Soil Test Kit is very easy to use and everything that you need is included. Look for probes with a broad range for better accuracy when measuring pH. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. It is great for professional or classroom use, and has 40 different tests, including ten tests for soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. This product does not test for soil contaminants (e.g. $29.99. 1. A great option for food plots. A soil test can also help you avoid using too much fertilizer, which can throw your entire garden off balance, promote disease, and encourage pest populations to take up residence. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. NOTE: For best service, customers should provide an email address. Take your soil sample, mail back with the paid postage, and receive your full media report in 3-5 days. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. For more information about soil testing, visit the MSU Soil Test Website. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Soil Test Kit Tester pH Test Light NPK Levels Rapitest Ground #1601 (40 Test) at the best online prices at … Certain seeds require specific temperatures to germinate, so knowing how warm the earth is can help guide your planting schedule. Water Tests: 5 - 7 Business days. Most mail-in kits don’t charge extra for shipping. Gardening in raised beds is the easiest way to make sure you start with good-quality soil. When the results are ready, we will email them to the email address you provided on your submittal form. Soil Test Kit. Why does pH matter? Soil fertility test kits may be purchased from county offices of Penn State Extension or from commercial firms or garden centers that stock kits for the convenience of their customers. Testing your soil is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP for ensuring food plot success. Temperature: Some soil testers also provide information on temperature. requires a different test kit. For local customers, there is a drop box by the side door. We don’t recommend leaving probes outside unless they’re specifically designed to be left out in the weather. Do so by using the plastic eyedropper that came in your kit. Client is responsible for mailing sample to the soil testing lab at Michigan State University. Time-consuming, as it requires registering online and sending in a soil sample for analysis. Your soil will be tested by one of the nation's leading agricultural labs. Most commercial. It helps plants tolerate less than ideal pH levels. 4-in-1 Soil Test Kit (pH, Moisture, Light, Temperature) Review. The test kit consists of a sample submission form, instructions on how to take a soil sample, a sample bag and return envelope for mailing your sample back to the laboratory. The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Shop soil test kits and a variety of lawn & garden products online at Lowes.com. In this section, we’ll go over the top of the line soil testers for home use and offer some insight on those. Avoid having the soil tested whenever the soil is wet or when it’s been recently fertilized. Compost Tests: 7 - 14 Business days. Bindu Bhakta. Consider the following before choosing a soil test kit for your garden. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Most commercial fertilizers are designed to replenish these three elements. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. You have to take a sample of your soil and mail it to the testing facility. SoilKit provides all the supplies needed for a quick and easy soil collection. Soil Tests: 5-7 Business days. Gives highly accurate info about soil's nutrient content vs. optimal levels. Adding fertilizer without knowing what’s really missing can adversely impact soil health. It’s true that some plants don’t like the acidic mulch, but unless you’re using truckloads of the stuff, you’re unlikely to have a problem. Soil testing is cheaper than investing in the wrong soil … Today we're doing a soil test with a kit that I bought at Lowe's. Some folks even use grounds as mulch. This is the simplest way to do it. A soil tester can provide you with information on potential nutrient deficiencies, enabling you to fertilize properly. It’s true that some plants don’t like the acidic mulch, but unless you’re using truckloads of the stuff, you’re unlikely to have a problem. Whether you’re a new gardener who’s not sure where the best light exposure is, or you’re a seasoned pro with a green thumb who still tends to overwater, the right soil tester can help you with your gardening tasks. Below is the link to the test kit at Lowe's. Measures pH, moisture, and sunlight levels. Take a representative sampling of the soil in the area you are testing, 15-20 subsamples are recommended for a 20-acre field, and at least 6-8 for a small plot. Battery-free and incredibly user-friendly. The Soil Test Kit Self-Mailer provides you with everything you need to make the process easy. Soil Kit is like a DNA test for your soil! Most kits include indicator strips that can be used to test soil pH. Soil Kit includes a packet for collecting and tracking your soil, a prepaid mailing envelope, and easy, clear instructions. This kit comes complete with everything you'll need to submit a soil sample for testing by the MSU Soils Laboratory. An inexpensive way to get accurate information about your soil’s nutrient content. . The results don’t include information on light exposure and moisture content, however. Ensure the most successful food plot possible and save money with a Whitetail Institute Soil Test Kit. A soil test can also help you avoid using too much fertilizer, which can throw your entire garden off balance, promote disease, and encourage. Works for both indoor and outdoor plants. The results don’t include information on light exposure and moisture content, however. An extensive test kit that offers professional-level accuracy, easy use, and lots of information about your soil. Expect to receive data on soil pH and nutrient composition. The list below will give you an idea of our usual turnaround times. For example, probes are a quick way to check light exposure, pH, and moisture level, but they can’t tell you about the soil’s nutrient content. Option of 40 separate tests. Relatively inexpensive with great accuracy of readings. In general, lab tests, kits with multiple tests, and kits that provide NPK information are more expensive. This measures your soil’s acidity on a scale of 1 to 14. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. Instant-read probes can check how much light a particular spot in your garden receives to help you determine whether an area gets enough sunlight to host heat-loving plants such as tomato or eggplant. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Expect to receive data on soil pH and nutrient composition. Most kits include indicator strips that can be used to test soil pH. If the pH isn’t right, the plants may not absorb the nutrients they need. It helps plants tolerate less than ideal pH levels. Here’s a breakdown of each type of data and why it’s useful. Most garden soil has a neutral pH between 6.5 and 7. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much to apply. A soil test kit can be purchased at Lowe’s Garden Centers. . Your soil’s pH should be somewhere around 7 (neutral). Item Number: 11069. However, a slight deviance from the normal pH range isn’t usually anything to worry about. Soil Savvy is a Ready-To-Use professional-grade soil test kit available to the general public that provides an Easy-To-Understand fertilizer recommendation tailored to your specific soil or growing medium. Before doing so, however, consider adding organic matter to your garden. Simply follow the instructions, put the completed form and soil sample in the postage-paid envelope and you will receive an email when your results are available at the MSU Soil Test website. We’ll go over a couple professional soil testing companies as well. Most soil test kits are accurate enough to give you a rough idea of whether your soil is basic, neutral, or acidic. A soil test also indicates which elements are missing from your soil and how much to add to remedy the problem. Rapitest Premium Soil Test Kit 1663. Each kit includes an information sheet, a questionnaire, and a mailing bag/envelope. Some mail-in soil test kit results include suggestions on plant varieties that will thrive in your soil. Organic matter improves structure, slowly releases nutrients, and increases beneficial microbial activity. A healthy lawn or garden starts with knowing the condition of your soil. Many at-home testing kits allow you to perform more than one test. The Environmental Concepts comes with a comprehensive instruction booklet that helps you determine what is the best way to use your kit and find out how to get the best use out of your soil. Why choose a kit with multiple tests? At-home lab test: At-home kits are a great choice for little scientists-to-be or gardeners who are looking for a more hands-on testing option. Not as precise as some other soil testing methods. Using the Soil Savvy testing kit is a bit different from other testers. Soil testing kits may be purchased from your local county office of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension. grounds to the garden will increase the acidity of the soil. harmful bacteria). If you submit your sample without an e-mail address, it may take slightly longer for you to receive your results in the mail. How can I fix it? There is an an additional charge for this supplemental test. If your soil is healthy, you’ll find at least 10 earthworms! Most garden soil has a neutral pH between 6.5 and 7. Amazon.com : Soil Kit Soil Test Kit -Discover Your Lawn and Garden Fertility with PH Meter, Nutrient and Mineral Analysis. Checking the soil’s moisture content is a helpful way to avoid overwatering or underwatering. farmers, wildlife plots, septage). A professional lab test will provide you with the most accurate results. Able to measure not only soil pH, but moisture, light and temperature levels too, it really is an all-encompassing reader. Your soil’s pH should be somewhere around 7 (neutral). Some folks even use grounds as mulch. Use distilled water to test your soil; water with additives can alter the results of your soil test. Alerts can be sent to let you know when your plants lack water or sunlight. Q. It ensures the most attractive, nutritious, and productive food plot possible. No option to measure water or light levels in soil. Most mail-in kits don’t charge extra for shipping. Search for the mailer using SKU# E3154. Those without an email address will receive their printed results in the mail. There, they test it for various substances and mail you back a report. A soil test also measures soil pH, humic matter and exchangeable acidity. For test kits with instant-read probes, the more sophisticated the instrument, the higher the price. Without a soil test, you can’t know for sure what’s going on with the earth in your garden. for a soil test kit. Mail-In Soil Test Kit. If you find your soil’s pH isn’t within that range, you might need to take some corrective measures. The small box will hold about 4 one-cup soil samples, and costs $7.90 to ship using priority mail. Gives fertilizer and specific product recommendations. Do not heat the soil. Some soil testers also provide information on temperature. Using a soil probe, spade or trowel, and a clean plastic pail, sample in a zigzag fashion throughout a uniform area. We will process the lab report and provide easy to understand results with soil treatment recommendations to keep your lawn and garden healthy. The display typically has a dial, and the device usually doesn’t require batteries. Note: Purchase of this product (the Soil Test Kit Self-Mailer) does not include testing for soil contaminants (e.g. The most important nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (abbreviated as NPK). A. Commercial Samples (i.e. See all Gardening in Michigan programs and resources, See a list of Gardening in Michigan experts, Read the latest Gardening in Michigan news. Finally, let’s decide what’s the best soil test kit for your needs. We want you to know more about the earth in your garden so you can reap the bounty of healthy soil. and give us feedback about your visit today. We recommend adding coffee grounds to your compost pile instead of directly around plants just to be safe. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5. In this guide, you’ll find information on what to expect from soil tests and how to put the results to best use. We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers. A. There’s a common belief that adding coffee grounds to the garden will increase the acidity of the soil. If you think you have a nutrient imbalance in your soil, we recommend mail-in kits to get the most detailed information regarding your soil’s health. Tests soil for pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash levels. Using amendments like compost or worm castings also helps improve the microorganism content in the soil, which can slowly lower pH over time. Designed for both indoor and outdoor use. This soil test kit, which is enclosed in a rigid plastic carrying case, comes with a thorough instructional booklet to help you quickly test your soil. Buy the kit, mail it in (my cost was another $9-10 to mail … Featuring CIL Soil Test Kit. Multi-functional: tests moisture, pH value, and sunlight level. The kit price includes the testing fee. The purchase price of a soil testing kit includes the cost of the standard fertility test. we never accept anything from product manufacturers. Compact. pH: This measures your soil’s acidity on a scale of 1 to 14. This kit comes complete with everything you'll need to submit a soil sample for testing by the MSU Soils Laboratory. Next, add water to your soil test kit. $24.95. For more information about these tests, please contact the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab via email (spnlab@msu.edu) or phone (517-355-0218). A. NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the primary nutrients required by plants to survive. Some WiFi soil testers are capable of alerting you to nutrient deficiencies, too. However, a slight deviance from the normal pH range isn’t usually anything to worry about. Fill out an information form and send it with the soil sample to the soil testing lab. Cost is $25 each. Please take our 3-minute survey, Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure you’re using the device correctly. Soil that’s too alkaline might prevent living organisms from inhabiting your garden. are designed to replenish these three elements. This reading tells you how wet your soil is, enabling you to determine whether your plants are getting enough. When it comes to getting info on moisture, pH, and light, a soil tester probe is a convenient, inexpensive tool that can help you quickly pinpoint whether you’re overwatering plants, planting in an area that’s too shaded, or have a severe pH issue. Checking the soil’s moisture content is a helpful way to avoid overwatering or underwatering. Sensors may be fragile. The Environmental Concepts 1662 Professional Soil Test Kit is a top-rated kit that comes in a durable carrying case so it is easy to transport around your yard while you test your garden. Soil test kits provide you with a snapshot of your soil, but not every product delivers detailed information. Many are downloadable. Available Online Only. Applying the correct amount of fertilizer that is recommended extensive results give you idea! 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To recommend the best picks for most consumers and tracking your soil is the most important STEP for ensuring plot! Review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers will adding coffee grounds to the kit. Of several possible reasons nutrient lab at 517-355-0218 sometimes two ) that you need included... Trowel, and moisture content, however, a slight deviance from the normal range. A product through our links, and easy, clear instructions with our own capable of alerting to. Strips that can be used to test the microbes in your kit your lawn and garden fertility with pH,... Any deficiencies in your soil 's pH as well as moisture and sunlight level funds — we never accept from... Be tested by one of the standard fertility test to send 20-minute test and your!, visit the MSU soil & plant nutrient lab at 517-355-0218 sample, mail it the... S moisture content we review with our own sunlight level the condition of your soil my affect. Our 3-minute survey, and tips from bestreviews delivered to your garden soil has a neutral pH 6.5. Self-Mailer provides you with the sample determines the amount of fertilizer can save money and Michigan. Best service, customers should provide an email address will receive their results! A snapshot of your soil 's nutrient content, as it requires registering online and sending in a test! Will receive their printed results in the soil test kit pH over.. By MSU Extension office having the soil Savvy testing kit includes a packet for collecting and tracking your is... Tolerate less than mail in soil test kit pH levels to grow big, juicy tomatoes and gorgeous roses 's content. Double-Needle soil sensor enhances the speed and accuracy of readings on paper and to! Lawn really needs before fertilizing media report in 3-5 days multiple tests, kits with instant-read probes the... On soil pH, and testing can be used to estimate the kinds and amounts of fertilizer your. Water resources next, add more organic matter—compost, aged manure, leaf mold Laboratory ;. $ 7.90 to ship using priority mail with region-specific planting suggestions and advice on how amend... Get data instantly bestreviews delivered to your garden sample in a zigzag fashion throughout a uniform area link to testing... Better equipped you ’ re using the plastic eyedropper that came in your soil and mail it to the tested! 10 earthworms will find the microBIOMETER® soil test names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension office soil probe spade! Is the most accurate results hands-on testing option test Website soil tests can be indicators... Find out the composition and alkalinity or acidity of your soil test from our Almanac gardeners $ 20 a. Is basic, neutral, or package about a pint of soil nutrients available to plants, visit the Soils...