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Picture of Tessa Darley
Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Tessa Darley - Monday, 29 July 2019, 5:20 PM
 

Hi, I'm just starting L2 and the first thing I need to do is understand how to test the pH of soil (and of course, what kind of soil it is).  Rather than just get a little soil testing kit which has a limited number of uses, I'd like to get a test tube rack, some test tubes, some barium sulphate, and some of the indicator solution.  I also need a 2mm sieve.  Is there anything else that I should get, and where / what is the best source (at a reasonable price!)?  Can someone please post urls for me - I'd rather go online than in-store....  I found some barium sulphate on Amazon, but it says it's 97% (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barium-Sulphate-250g-Including-Delivery/dp/B07C6J9XDG/ref=sr_1_2?crid=34F6QBTKW93BQ&keywords=barium+sulphate+powder&qid=1564416764&s=gateway&sprefix=barium+sulphate%2Caps%2C284&sr=8-2) is this ok, and how much will I need?  Does it go off once I've opened it?

Thanks in advance!

Tessa

 
Picture of Tessa Darley
Re: Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Tessa Darley - Thursday, 1 August 2019, 1:46 PM
 

I answer my own question here, in case anyone else has the question and the same flurry of responses as I did....

I decided to bite the bullet and buy a proper BDH-style pH testing kit as it comes with all the stuff one needs, is reusable, easily cleaned and portable, and you can get replacement components any time.  apparently the Barium sulphate, and ph indicator will lose their potency after being open a while, although if you keep them in the box/dark, it will preserve their life.

This is the one I got https://www.marketplace.farm/farm-machinery-parts-and-spares/accessories/miscellaneous/bdh-style-ph-testing-kit/

Picture of Aysel Medvedyeva
Re: Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Aysel Medvedyeva - Thursday, 1 August 2019, 3:32 PM
 

Hi Tessa,

I bough this one from Waitrose, for about 25 pounds and quite happy with it. It also tests for N, P and K. 

https://www.waitrosegarden.com/product/_/soil-test-kit/classid.2000034638/



apple for the teacher?
Re: Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Janet Prescott - Thursday, 1 August 2019, 6:24 PM
 

The simple ones are ok, and I think some of those 'fifteen use' type basic pH kits are good value.

Testing for N is never very accurate because levels change so much in a soil  over a relatively short time - farmers work more from soil type (how quickly will nitrogen leach?) last crop (was it a heavy user of nitrogen?) and requirements of the next crop (as before).  Whether phosphorus and potassium levels are important will depend on what you want to grow.

If you want to test soils in a great many gardens, a meter may be an option but you do need to look after it, clean the probe after use and calibrate with distilled water, and  make up a soil solution to test (generally they need this for a really accurate result). However I haven't used a pH meter for some time so there may be easier ones?

Does anyone use one regularly?

Picture of Tessa Darley
Re: Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Tessa Darley - Monday, 19 August 2019, 12:11 PM
 

Many thanks Aysel.  Hopefully this thread will help folk decide what to purchase.

I'm still hoping someone can post a link to a suitable riddle/2mm mesh sieve.  Amazon links most appreciated! :D 

Front Garden Summer 2017
Re: Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Esther Giles - Thursday, 1 August 2019, 4:50 PM
 

I’ve been looking too and want to keep it simple. Has anyone tried the RHS soil testing kit?

Front Garden Summer 2017
Re: Soil testing - where to buy things?
by Esther Giles - Thursday, 1 August 2019, 4:50 PM
 

I’ve been looking too and want to keep it simple. Has anyone tried the RHS soil testing kit?