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Old 05-26-2018, 02:37 PM   #1
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Soil testing


Has anyone compared the results of a $6 soil test from the hardware store to the one you send away for $40?

Granted, some wouldn't like to do the simple experiment, but possibly the lab uses the same reagents.

Opinions?
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Soil testing


We don't know if they test for the same things. Can you be more specific? What tests do you want?
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: Soil testing


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We don't know if they test for the same things. Can you be more specific? What tests do you want?
I don't want anything, I'm just curious since so many Diyers want good soil. My thought is that the send-away labs probably use the same chemicals/reagents as the hardware store test. But if we search it, there will be a sales pitch most likely.

I wondered if anyone had compared them. I may have to do it myself.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Soil testing


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I may have to do it myself.
Most likely. Both the store kit & the mail order people should tell you what tests are included. If not, you may have to make a few phone calls. There shouldn't be any deep secrets.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:46 PM   #5
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Re: Soil testing


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Originally Posted by Guap0_ View Post
Most likely. Both the store kit & the mail order people should tell you what tests are included. If not, you may have to make a few phone calls. There shouldn't be any deep secrets.
Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. For example, is the phosphorus high on both? Is the pH reliable? We did short chemical tests & dipsticks for years before they became available in the stores.

I bet they're pretty close.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:01 PM   #6
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Re: Soil testing


So you're comparing the results between the 2. I was thinking that it's more like blood tests where you can request just a CBC or an SMA 20 or more inclusive tests. In that case the $6 store test would be limited like the CBC & nothing else.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:26 PM   #7
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Re: Soil testing


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Originally Posted by Nik333 View Post
Has anyone compared the results of a $6 soil test from the hardware store to the one you send away for $40?

Granted, some wouldn't like to do the simple experiment, but possibly the lab uses the same reagents.

Opinions?

Since I wanted the basics, I ask my daughter just what you are asking. She is a biochemist, microbiologist, has worked in a lab doing this testing and other tests that would make some people's head spin. Mine for sure.

She ask if I wanted her to draw molecular structure diagrams or some such stuff and any other testing for an extra charge and I said no thanks. Her suggestion for what I needed was go to WallyWorld and buy a kit.


That test and the soil make-up structure test ?? with the pickle jar is about my limit.

At least I know my limits most of the time when talking to her. She questions anything I try to snow her with.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:52 PM   #8
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Re: Soil testing


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Originally Posted by Guap0_ View Post
So you're comparing the results between the 2. I was thinking that it's more like blood tests where you can request just a CBC or an SMA 20 or more inclusive tests. In that case the $6 store test would be limited like the CBC & nothing else.
Yes, but I don't want arsenic levels. For the guy with the lawn on a hill; he could test more areas.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:52 PM   #9
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Re: Soil testing


I have used the McKenzie hardware store kits.

It didn't give any results. My soil must have zero nitrogen, zero phosphorous and zero potash. Probably user error - maybe I dug too deep and got too much clay (topsoil layer is pretty thin on my property). Or used sample with too much or too little silt. Bought more kits and tried again, got a little color, but had no confidence results were meaningful.

All an established lawn wants is nitrogen anyways.

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Old 05-26-2018, 06:07 PM   #10
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Re: Soil testing


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Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
I have used the McKenzie hardware store kits.

It didn't give any results. My soil must have zero nitrogen, zero phosphorous and zero potash. Probably user error - maybe I dug too deep and got too much clay (topsoil layer is pretty thin on my property). Or used sample with too much or too little silt. Bought more kits and tried again, got a little color, but had no confidence results were meaningful.

All an established lawn wants anyways is nitrogen anyways.
Mine that looked like Senior's worked well. The second time with a different kit it was harder. I may not have been as patient. I do need to read the directions!

Re nitrogen, I bought a lot of large flowering plants & forgot that the pot's soil was fertilized. I used 10-10-10 & all the flowers fell off & the leaves grew. Too much nitrogen.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:05 AM   #11
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Re: Soil testing


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Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Since I wanted the basics, I ask my daughter just what you are asking. She is a biochemist, microbiologist, has worked in a lab doing this testing and other tests that would make some people's head spin. Mine for sure.

She ask if I wanted her to draw molecular structure diagrams or some such stuff and any other testing for an extra charge and I said no thanks. Her suggestion for what I needed was go to WallyWorld and buy a kit.


That test and the soil make-up structure test ?? with the pickle jar is about my limit.

At least I know my limits most of the time when talking to her. She questions anything I try to snow her with.

But can she fix toilets?
She sounds like she got her humor from you
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:26 PM   #12
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Re: Soil testing


Do you have a local nursery that will do the testing for you? Some will do it for free.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:23 PM   #13
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Re: Soil testing


Find your local state agriculture extension office is. In most states they will do soil testing for free. They will also give you a list of recommendations to improve your soil based on the test results.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:24 AM   #14
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Re: Soil testing


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Find your local state agriculture extension office is. In most states they will do soil testing for free. They will also give you a list of recommendations to improve your soil based on the test results.
I actually like doing the tests, wh I'm patient & the weather is nice. The advice for amendments would certainly be helpful & I could compare the results.
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