Getting Started- Soil Testing

summer garden
summer garden

Whether you are a backyard gardener, a market gardener or a farmer, one of the first and most important steps is to start your season with a soil test. An analytical laboratory testing of your soils PH, Organic matter content, and various major, minor & micro nutrients can greatly increase your growing success as well as improve the nutritional quality of the food grown.
One of the smartest things I did to improve our farm was to soil test and then to get an analysis of those tests so I could use organic amendments in the correct amounts to improve my soil. The benefits have been Enormous! The quality of the soil tilth has improved, the quality and the flavor of the crops has improved & pressure from insects and disease is minimal at most. Being an organic grower, I was given specific recipes using organic amendments, to customize fertilizer blends for different areas of our farm. The size of the plot doesn’t matter, as they determine which amendments to use & in what quantities that are needed, based on the size of your operation. From square feet to acres it is calculated for you.

If it isn’t in the soil, it isn’t in your food.
If it isn’t in your food, it isn’t in you.

Lets get started-

Several years ago I noticed a decline in the quality and health of my garden & was seeing problems that had not occurred before. This inspired an in-depth research into soil and soil nutrients. Many books, articles and web sites later I discovered this invaluable book written by Steve Solomon, who began the Territorial Seed Company, and who is the author of multiple gardening books.

Steve Solomon's great book
Steve Solomon’s great book

I was convinced I was on the right track- Improve my soil and crop quality by improving the soil that grew the crops that provided a majority of our nutrition. It was time to test our soil and see what was needed.
I decided to utilize the testing facilities recommended in Mr Solomon’s book The Intelligent Gardener, Logan Labs LLC in Lakeview Ohio.

Their site is filled with great information, simply laid out and easy to navigate. For our testing I chose their Standard Soil Test @ a cost of $25 per test.  Follow these guidelines on Logan Labs site- soil sampling instructions.

I took soil samples from several distinctly different areas of our garden. with a separate test for each area.
I then packaged them up & sent them off. Within a week I was emailed the lab results.

After receiving the lab results I then turned to a company that provides computer analysis of lab tests and recommends organic amendments for each area tested. You can find their services at Grow Abundant Gardens.
A subscription to their OrganiCalc is a mere $9.50 per year for unlimited usage.

Armed with this information and by applying the correct nutrients in the calculated amounts I have watched the health of our garden/farm increase each year since. Soil testing definitely has been a great investment in the health of our farm, the health of our crops and in turn the health of the families that our crops and animals nourish. You should try it too!

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One thought on “Getting Started- Soil Testing

  1. Wow! This is incredible detailed. Would have never thought it could make such a difference.
    Well.
    This explains why my haphazardly strewn seeds fail to make much else than a little garden of weeds. Chickens don’t care though. .. Happy spring planning!

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