Soil testing

Asked June 5, 2019, 12:43 AM EDT

I'm having no luck with germination this year , and when they do sprout , it seems they stop growing. I,m talking radishes , carrots , beets , spinach. I think I should have my soil tested , I tried the do it yourself kits and all I could see was muddy water . Is there a place I can get soil tested for free?.I am in a Portland Community garden. Thanks.

Multnomah County Oregon vegetables seedlings soil and fertility issues

1 Response

The do-it-yourself kits can provide an approximate pH. None will tell you if a soil contaminant is present.

Before you send a sample to a professional soil lab, let's look at what occurred so far. More often than not, the problem is related to environmental factors, such as the following:
- soil water (too much or not enough);
- the planting site (drainage)
- sun vs shade
- depth the seed was planted
- soil temperature to low or too high

During recent years,
How was the soil prepared before planting?
Did you mix in any manure? If yes, fresh or aged? And how much?

During recent years, gardeners who used manures, have sometimes encountered stunting and other growth problems due to herbicide carryover.

You might like to review "Growing Your Own,'" an overview of growing vegetables: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9027.pdf
The planting chart on page 7 and athe troubleshooting info on page 9 may resolve your issues.

If you have images of the failed seedlings, please send them when you reply to this email.

If you have additional questions, please ask.