Soil Testing

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9 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    You can actually get lab soil tests done for pretty cheap, around 20 dollars. That will cover both the macro and micro nutrients. If you eat a lot of food grown yourself it certainly is a worthwhile investment.

  2. Emily says:

    Donna–yes, Mel’s book says you don’t need fertilizer, but I have not had a lot of success without it. I don’t know if any Texas read my blog, but maybe someone will contact you.

  3. Donna M. Bentkowski says:

    Emily, In Mels New Sq. FT. Gardening Bk . he says you don’t have to add fertilizer, why is that? Maybe it is because he recommends u use 5 different types of compost ?,do you do that?Luv that u r so thorough in your explanations. Your site ?blog?newsletters?e-mails Etc. R awesome.Thank u so much for all that u do. God Bless u.
    O another ?, Do u know of anyone from Tx.that is doing a sq. ft. garden ,specifically that lives near San Antonio, I live just 30 min. North of their in A town called Bulverde. It is part of the Hill Country.I would luv to talk to other people from my area about sq. ft. gardening, if u could please pass this message on i would appreciate it.My colors I believe r white and Olive.They could contact me by e-mail

  4. Aaliyah says:

    read everything before starting.

  5. Emily says:

    Cheryl–I’ve added a little explanation at the top now–generally you don’t have to test your soil. Add a variety of compost every year to your garden, I suggest boosting it with fertilizer, and you should be good to go. But if you’ve had problems and are troubleshooting, start with testing the soil. It’s cheap, easy, and gives you a baseline.

  6. shawn says:

    Just an FYI, the best time to test your soil is in the fall. That way, if you need to add lime or gypsum/sulphur, they have time to work. Lime can take 2-4 months and adding gypsum can take as long or more. Espoma has lime/gypsum products. Here is a link –>

  7. Cheryl says:

    I’m new to square-foot gardening, so I have a question. Isn’t one of the benefits of SFG not having to test the soil?

  8. Emily says:

    Mary–it probably is best to take one sample from each garden bed. I only had one test, so I wanted to get an idea of all the soil. The kit I listed at the end of the article comes with supplies for multiple tests.

  9. Mary says:

    It is my understanding that you shouldn’t mix your soil samples if they are taken from different areas/gardens as the results are more specific to the soil from a specific garden. For example if you have a vegetable garden and a flower garden, or several separate raised beds, the soil may test different in each area/bed and you may need different nutrients in each bed.