Simple Soil Tests You Can Do At Home

Thanks to Nick Comerford, University of Florida, and the Soil Science Society of America for this article! We first ran it in May of 2017. We thought it went well with this week's article "Bury Your Briefs: Discover the Keys to Soil Health "Tighty Whitey" Style." It's something you can do if you don't feel like giving up any of your underwear. Enjoy! (And let us know if you do some testing!) If you are outside and want to know something about the soil you are working with, and don’t have any fancy equipment, then this is for you. With a little bit of experience you can get an idea of how much organic matter you have in your soil, how much clay you have, and how acidic or basic your soil is. The equipment you need is: 1) your eyes; 2) your hands; 3) a little water; and 4) a piece of pH litmus paper (never leave home without it). Organic matter Organic matter is a source of plant nutrients, the source of energy for soil organisms, and a sponge for holding water in the soil. To know something about soil organic matter, just look at the color of the soil. You can’t be quantitative when estimating organic matter in the field if all you have is the color, b

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