Carrying out a soil survey yourself
Every three to five years, a soil survey in the garden makes sense. This can also be done by the hobby gardener himself. There are various methods for this.
If the garden owner wants a good harvest and beautiful flowering beds in the home garden, a good quality of the soil is important. Soil analysis may also be assisted by soil analysis.
Soil analysis measures the concentration of nutrients in the soil necessary for plant development and growth. Important nutrients for the soil include phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, but also some trace elements. In addition, the pH of the soil sample is determined.
When is a soil study in the garden useful?
A soil survey is useful every three to five years or when creating a new garden. The best time to analyze the soil is autumn or early spring before fertilizing.
If there is a lack of nutrients in the garden soil, the plants will grow poorly and be more susceptible to diseases and pests. Even if it is an acute and visible deficiency symptom, a soil analysis makes sense to find out what is missing from the soil.
If a lot of moss is found in the lawn, it makes sense to check the pH value. But too many nutrients, for example due to over-fertilization, damage the soil and pollute the environment. If the nutrients are not absorbed by the soil, the rain floats them into the lower soil layers and they get into the groundwater.
Taking soil for the soil sample itself
Different areas require different depths of the sample removal To take a sample at least ten centimeters deep, about 20 to 25 centimeters in depth are useful in the vegetable garden or in perennials.
In order to obtain meaningful soil for the analysis, soil can be taken per acreage. Not all surfaces have the same demands on the ground. Vegetables have different needs than, for example, the lawn or the perennial flowerbed.
A dandelion piercer is an auxiliary tool for removing soil from the ground. To do this, guide the engraver vertically into the ground and pull it out slowly. So there is a good cross-section through the layers of the earth, which is important for a good analysis.
Put the soil into a small bucket and process it further or send a handful of soil to the lab, depending on how you perform the analysis.
The finger test is a simple self-test soil test.
The finger test is the simplest and fastest way to test soil composition and perform a soil analysis yourself. Add one tablespoon of soil from the soil sample and roll a sausage with two fingers. If this succeeds, the soil is very clayey. This type of soil is well suited for flowerbeds, fruit trees, hedges and other trees.
If the rolled sausage breaks after three to four turns, it is a loamy soil that is sandy and loose. Perfect for lawns. If the soil sample is beetroot, some rock powder helps to improve the shelf life of water in the soil.
If no sausage can be made from the soil, then the soil is very sandy. Humus, compost and rock flour help here. In the following year fertilize with organic fertilizers and mulch the soil.
If the soil looks almost black, the soil has a high humus content. For beds and trees, fertilization is very important for this soil. For the lawn, the soil is too heavy, here the gardener can loosen up the soil with sand.
Have a Soil Sample Performed or Do It Yourself
There are various sets in the garden shop to carry out a soil survey with detailed analysis. For this, the hobby gardener fills some garden soil into a tube and mixes the soil with the enclosed distilled water and an indicator tablet. The color of the tube changes and a color table can be used to read the pH value of the soil.
If you want to know exactly, send the sample to the laboratory, which also gives fertilizer recommendations if the content of the soil has been determined. Garden centers offer in the spring again and again free soil samples. The Chamber of Agriculture is also the contact person for the professional implementation of soil analyzes. Such a soil analysis costs about ten to twenty euros, depending on what is being studied