Soil Testing

Soil Testing

At the start of Spring, it is important to know what your soil needs before you start any renovations. If you do not know what your soil is lacking, you may end up wasting products by putting down the wrong thing.

Hanna Quick Soil Test Kit

Hanna Quick Soil Test Kit

There are lots of simple test kits available from Bunnings, but we recommend the Hanna Quick Soil Test Kit. It is available directly from Hanna Instruments.

A Hanna Quick Soil Test Kit will run 4 tests covering the most important elements for your lawn; pH, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). It comes with tubes for each test, pipette, colour result cards and 10 sets of testing reagents. Allowing you to get 10 tests from the kit.

Other tools you will need are something to get soil samples and a jar/container, for NPK tests and water.


Gathering soil

To get an accurate result for your tests you want to gather soil from at least 2 different locations. Getting 1 and a half cups of soil from each location. From a depth of 100 to 150 millimetres.

Gathering Soil

You can use a soil sampler to get your samples or a small hand shovel.

Once you have pulled up the soil, you will want to mix them together and label them to remember which is which.


pH test

You will need to take half a teaspoon of soil and add it to a test tube. Then adding water to the lower marker, then adding the pH reagent replacing the cap and shaking for 30 seconds. Then allowing the tube to stand for 5 minutes. Once settled you can compare the colour of your sample to the pH level colour chart. Ensuring you have a light source behind you to accurately judge the colour.

pH

A pH test will range from 0 to 14. The lower the number the more acidic your soil is. The higher the number the more alkaline it is.


NPK test

For the NPK test, you first need to follow the general extraction procedure. For each separate area you want to test, you will need to combine 1 and a half cups of soil with 8 cups of water. Then shaking for 1 minute and allowing to stand for 30 minutes to 24 hours. Waiting until the soil has settled. The clearer the extract the more accurate the test will be.

Once settled you can perform the Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) tests.
For each test, you will use the pipette to extract 2.5 millilitres of the soil extract. Then adding it to a clean test tube, then adding the appropriate reagent and shake for 30 seconds.

NPK

Finally, leaving the tube to stand for 30 seconds before comparing the sample to the appropriate colour chart.


Now that you know what your soil needs you can make the appropriate amendments. Find out how to amend your soil: Soil Amendments

While there are lots of options for testing your soil. A professional kit like the Hanna Instruments Quick Soil Test Kit will always give more accurate results. Get the kit: Hanna Instruments Quick Soil Test Kit.



We hope these tips have been helpful for understanding what your lawn needs during this Spring renovation period. To get more advice on soil testing call our team on (07) 3114 8230. You can also to pop in and order in person at our sales office on 1/243 Bradman Street, Acacia Ridge. The office opens Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm and Saturday 7am to 12pm.

For more great lawn care tips keep an eye on our website and all our social media channels.


2 comments

  1. Elsebeth Petersen

    Hi, I am trying to purchase an NPK test kit and can’t find stock anywhere. Do you have any for sale, and can you post to NSW? Cheers, Elsebeth.

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