organics soil testing for your organic garden

Plant Moderator

Want in on a secret to unlocking your garden’s full potential? It’s not some mystical, magical,
new-age solution. Soil testing.

why test your soil?

Organic gardening can be just like baking, you need the right ingredients in the right amounts to
make something wonderful. Knowing what compounds or nutrients are in your soil will help you
adjust things so you can have your best garden yet!

Just moved into a new home? Planning a new garden? Not sure if you’re under or
over-fertilizing? Maybe your flowers or veggies just aren’t looking their best. These are all great
reasons to test your soil and see what you’re working with.

what gets tested?

Usually, a test will look at 3 core elements: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You might see
some results for calcium, magnesium, sulphur or the pH level of your soil. These are known as
micronutrients, and pH will determine how alkaline or acidic your soil is.

A soil test can also determine the amount of organic matter in your soil. This is helpful because
you’ll be able to easily figure out how to better enrich your soil.

when you should test your soil

A general rule of thumb is to test your soil once a year, ideally in the fall. This timing allows you
to add fertilizer or other needed nutrients and enrich your soil over the winter. If you’re thinking
of starting a perennial garden, consider testing a few months before you plant. Annual gardens
don’t need to be tested every year. Instead, test your annual garden’s soil every couple of years.

Types of soil tests?

1. Lab Tests: You can mail your sample to a lab for a very accurate reading. This method will give you a very in-depth look at your soil composition. These tests can be a bit pricy and may take a bit of research to find a lab near you.

2. DIY Tests: Most DIY tests won’t give you as detailed of a reading as lab results but are a more convenient option. These tests are available for purchase online or at many big box stores. At-home/DIY tests usually test for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

what’s next?

Once you get your soil’s test results, it’s time to bolster its nutrients. Your organic garden will
thank you for topping up its nutrients with Miracle-Gro® Organics Garden Mix for Vegetables &

Let us know how your soil is doing and what you do to keep your organic garden thriving. #groworganic

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