There are many reasons that testing of soil is done. Construction companies test the soil to check whether the land is suitable for construction or not. Farmers need soil testing in order to know which type of crop can be grown in the soil. There are many other reasons that you need to test the soil.
In this article, we will know more about soil testing
Soil pH is a scale that helps to whether the soil content is acidic or alkaline. With soil testing, this pH value can be determined and crops can be planned accordingly or you can aim to balance the pH to fit your needs. The reading of this scale is between 0 and 14. The reading of zero denotes that the soil is strongly acidic. If the reading is 14 then it means that the soil is strongly alkaline. The reading of seven denotes that the soil content is neutral It is neither acidic nor alkaline. The soil that is used for farming should have a pH reading between 6.0 and 7.5. If there is a slight increase or decrease in the reading, then it will have a bad effect on the nutrients present in the soil. If the pH of the soil is to be balanced, certain things are added to it but it takes a few years to balance the nutrients of the soil.
Method of testing soil
The soil of the farm can be tested in various laboratories. Garden centers and cooperative extensions are also the places where the soil can be tested. Here are the steps that one needs to follow in order to test the soil:
- Soil should be removed and collected with the help of any of the tools like a trowel, sampling tube, shovel, etc.
- The depth up to which the soil should be collected is five to seven inches at least.
- The grass debris and stones should be removed from the soil.
- Six to seven samples should be taken and then mixed in a plastic bag.
- Dry the soil before sending it to a laboratory. To achieve this, spread the soil over a shaded area and leave it for a day.
- After that, a small amount of the soil is collected and taken for a sample.
- Labeling should be done and then send to the lab center.
The results will denote whether the soil is suitable for farming or other things that need to be done.
Advantages of soil testing
There are many advantages of soil testing which are as follows:
Minimization of expenses on fertilizer
Soil testing let the farmers know whether fertilizers are required to fertilize the soil or not. The farmers can also decide the type of fertilizer and its quantity that is to be used to grow the crops. This will minimize the expenditure on fertilizers.
Limitation to over-fertilization
Overfertilization can damage the soil or the crop. If the soil testing is done then farmers can decide the amount of fertilizer to be used in the soil. There are various disadvantages of over-fertilization and some of them include water pollution, deficiency of nutrients, losses that cannot be reversed, and many more.
Avoidance of soil degradation
If this soil management is not done, the fertile soil is eroded and this can make the land unfertile. Soil degradation can also lead to health problems for many.
These are some of the advantages of soil testing. Soil testing helps in testing the pH of the soil and then farmers can know the amount of fertilizer that can be used in the soil to make it fertile. Testing also prevents over-fertilization of soil.