Guidelines for Interpreting the Soil Test Results


You have done your soil test, and now you are looking at the results. The problem might now be that you don’t understand the reading and how to interpret the reading of the soil test.

The good news is that this isn’t as hard as what you might think. The moment that you are getting the right guidelines for your interpreting the soil test results done at home, or professionally, you will understand the results. These are some of the things that you need to look at when you are reading the soil test results.

The PH level

The first thing that you need to look for is the PH level of the soil. This is the most important thing to look for. The normal PH level for soil should be between 5.0–5.5.

With a PH level of 7, then there isn’t acid nor alkaline in the soil. Meaning that you should add some acid or alkaline into the soil until the reading falls between the normal readings. This is the right reading for most plants to grow healthy and growing fruit and vegetables.

Cation exchange capacity (CEC)

The cation exchange capacity is the result of the ability of the soil to hold nutrients calcium, magnesium and potassium in the ground. These nutrients are needed for healthy growing plants.

The normal reading for the cation exchange capacity or also known as the CEC should be above 10. Below 10 will mean that your soil might not be right for growing certain plants.

The Calcium/magnesium ratio

The calcium versus magnesium ration needs to be at a specific level in order to know that the ratio between these two is perfect for growing plants. This can be one of the most common reasons why plants might not grow and flower as it should, because of the wrong calcium and magnesium ratio.

The normal ration of calcium and magnesium should be above 3. Lower than three, and you will need to make sure that you are adding some additional calcium or magnesium to get to the right level.

Nitrate nitrogen

Even if this is really important reading, this isn’t something that you can do anything about. This is because the nitrate-nitrogen reading is going to differ every week. This has to do with the rainfall that you have for the week. One week the nitrate-nitrogen in the soil will be really high.

Then, the next week there will not be any nitrate-nitrogen in the soil. There isn’t really much that you can do about this, and you don’t need to worry about the results of this reading. But in general, you would like want to see a level between 10 and 20.

Conductivity (salt)

The conductivity of salt in the soil should be below 0.15 dS/m. Plants don’t want salt in the soil. This can cause the plants to go into salt stress. And this will result in plants dying or not getting any flowers on.

This is the one reading that you need to pay close attention to. And, it is important that you are correcting the reading as soon as possible if you want to have healthy plants with growing fruit and vegetables.

These are some of the results that you will see with your soil testing. And, you need to make sure that you know what each of the results means. To make sure that you are able to correct the soil problem correctly. If you don’t know what to do with the results, you should consider taking the results to a soil expert and asking for advice.

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The pH (potential of Hydrogen) of soil ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 classified as neutral, less than 7 as acidic and greater than 7 as alkaline. While there are exceptions, the ideal pH value of soil for those wishing to grow plants or crops is generally considered to be between 5.5 and 7.

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