When To Have Your Soil Tested

Having a soil test will often times reveal surprising diffiencies. If your crops have shown signs of weakess during the growing season it may be from missing nutrients and minerals.

The University of Tennessee Extension Service provides three types of soil tests depending on what information you would like to see:

The Basic soil test includes soil pH, buffer value, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium all for the price of $7.00 per sample.

The Basic Plus soil test is all the above with zinc, manganese, iron, copper, sodium and boron for $15.00. Pre-sidedress nitrate (PSNT), Sulfate Sulfur (NH4OAc), organic matter and soluble salts is also offered.  Soil test nutrients (Basic and Basic Plus) are extracted using Mehlich 1 and are designed for mineral, inorganic soils thus not suitable for bark or peat-based mixes.  If your growing material is highly organic, a container media analysis is recommended.

The Container Media Test is mainly useful to greenhouse growers in determining fertility of soil-less mixtures. Turnaround is typically 1 to 2 business days (for routine Basic or Plus) and results are routinely mailed but can be e-mailed or faxed.

Find out more on their website at: https://ag.tennessee.edu/spp/Pages/soiltesting.aspx

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