If you have a garden, then you must know how to import the soil is for the plants. Some plants grow better in the moisty soil, while some are better suited for the sandy soil. It is very important to know which kind of soil you have.
Moreover, if you want a different kind of soil for your plants, then you must prepare it like that. But first of all, you should know how to test your soil. An easy solution is to take some soil from the ground and taking it to the nearest lab. The lab can test the soil for you and give you a proper judgment.
But if you don’t have any soil testing lab in your locality, you could go for testing the soil in your home. Today, we will discuss how you could test soil at home. So, let’s begin, shall we?
6 Ways to Test Your Soil at Home
1. Analyze the structure
If you till the soil, you will see that the smaller components of the soil could of three forms – powdery, granular or cloddy. Nature and environment determine the soil structure. For most of the plants, the granular soil is the best option. Such kind of soil has lots of minerals in it.
So, how can check the structure? Just some lumps of soil from the garden. Each lump should be from the different area of the garden. Then break them into smaller parts using your fingers. The structure will be clear to you.
If the soil is penetrable for about a feet, it is considered really well. Such soil has porosity and better drainage system. This characteristic prevents water from standing on the ground. Clogged water is really harmful to the plants as they make the roots weaker and washes off the minerals from it.
So, take a wire and push to the ground. If the wire penetrates about a foot without bending, you could say that the soil has good penetrability.
3. Is It Too Stiff?
Plants hardly grow on hard sandy soil. Well, at least most of them cannot grow in such an environment. That’s why farmers till the land with a tractor to granulate the soil. The plate-like lumps are too harsh for the tender little plants.
Moreover, the roots cannot reach deeper into the ground if the soil is too hard. So, check out the hardness of the soil.
Earthworms are extremely helpful for your plants. They supply regular nutrients to the plants. Select a damp or wet place in the ground and dig about 6-8 inches deep. Now take out the shovel and look for the earthworms. If you can see about 3-5 earthworms, your soil is healthy and ready for plantation.
However, less than three earthworms indicate than your soil is too dry. Consider using composites and animal manure to increase the number of the earthworms.
5. Plant Extracts
Have you grown crops in your land before? If so then there should be plant residues in the ground. Such residues act as nutrients for the next batch of the plantation.
Dig about 6-10 inches deep with a shovel and search for plant extracts. If you can see the plants turning dark, you could say that your soil has a good decomposition rate which is a great sign.
6. Water Availability and Infiltration
Water is synonymous with life for the plants as well as all the living being. But there is an interesting fact. Too much water on the soil is equally harmful as scarcity of water.
The ideal scenario is the land has a plentiful water supply yet the water doesn’t stand on the ground. If so, the root of plants will become weak. As well as the water can wash away the important nutrients.
So, how could you check that? Pour some water on the root of the plant and wait. If the water level falls to more than 1 or 2 inches in an hour, you could say the soil is healthy.
The integrity of the soil in your garden ensures how good the plants will grow out. So, you should always check out the quality of the soil before planting or hoping for a good harvest.