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Cheap, Easy & Accurate Way to Soil Test

Cheap and Easy Way to Soil Test 

 

This week we are looking at soil testing, a vital aspect of garden planning. You do not need chemical testing unless you are specifically looking for something. What our testing method provides is an insight into your soil by looking at the texture to see what it is predominately made up of, whether it is heavy on clay, silt, sand etc. 

 

What you will need:

 

  1. Spade 
  2. Glass Jar
  3. Water
  4. Bit of patience



Step 1 - Getting your Sample

Here, you need to dig a spade width and depths hole for your sample. Once you have dug and tuned over your soil, just by looking at the soil, you can get a good insight into the type of soil you have. It is very dark and black? Is it Organgy in places? Is it light and sandy? Is it white and Chalky?  These are all good first indications to what your soil content is like. 

 

You want to take a good sample that will fill your jar to the top. Once you have done this, we will then get inside and take a look. Time to wack on the kettle!

 

Step 2 - Roll the Soil

 

Now, you want to get your hands muddy by taking out a small handful of the sample to have a play with. You will take a small handful out and begin to roll it like it is plado. By doing this, you can already begin to get a feel to see what your soil is like. Is it dense? Is it sandy? Is it chalky? All important factors. 

 

Step 3 - Fill the Jar with the Soil with Tap Water 

  

What you need to do now is fill the upper half of the jar with water from the tap (you might be wanting to wash your hands by this point too!). Once filled, we want to start mixing the soil and water together, maybe use a metal pudding spoon. There maybe a few rocks in there, just grab those out if you come across them. Once mixed with the spoon, pop the lid back on and give it a real good shake (Make sure the lid is on firmly!) and then let it rest for 24hrs.

 

Step 4 - The Results

 

What you want to be looking for is the separation in the jar. It should lookine a fancy chocolate mousse. The top will be water, there should then be three layers, including clay, silt and sand. You may not have all three, that's not an issue. Just bare in mind what you will plant. For example, if your plants like sandy conditions and the soil is heavy clay, it may not be a good idea. 

 

To physically see how it is done, take a look at the video above where we show you exactly how to soil test.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email info@secretgardeniningclub.co.uk

 

Helen