Best soil analyzer

Asked March 31, 2017, 9:43 AM EDT

Hi, Do you have any recommendations for a good soil analyzer for a home gardener? Is something like this (https://www.harrisseeds.com/products/40218-Electronic-4-Way-Analyzer?gclid=CJSVwszvgNMCFUO1wAod8M8Omw) a waste of money? Thanks!

Hennepin County Minnesota soil test

3 Responses

http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/testing-services
Laboratories make a comprehensive analysis of soil samples that is difficult to replicate in a home kit because the laboratory has more resources than a home kit.
I found some reviews of testing kits online for you, I hope these give you some idea about how useful the kits will be. I think sending a sample to a lab every 3-5 years is worthwhile.
http://www.forestsoils.org/soil-testing-kits/

Hi Evelyn, Thanks for the quick reply. I should have noted that I am going to be sending samples from various places in my yard to the U for a soil analysis. But I was wondering if this is a good tool to have for testing more often and in between comprehensive 3rd-party soil analyses. Thanks.

Soils have natural buffering and that means they do not change very quickly if at all. It is actually very difficult to change soil pH. If plants need nitrogen the leaves will be paler than they should be, so there are other ways of determining what your plants need. If spending money for a soil testing kit, choose one of the better ones for better results. Testing is fun and worth doing for reassurance or interest but probably not necessary.