Soil mixtures


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Ok thanks. Should I do a soil nutrient test or a pH test
Ph test now and MAYBE a soil test later. In container gardening soil fertility is much easier to achieve. What you NEED to know is whether your growing medium is acidic or alkaline and how much it is, either way. It doesn't have to be perfect, just close.
 
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Ok I googled pH test for soil and there is a method involving distilled water at home. Is that okay? If not, what do you recommend?
 
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Ok I googled pH test for soil and there is a method involving distilled water at home. Is that okay? If not, what do you recommend?
That will work, somewhat. It shows whether acidic or alkaline but not how much. Walmart has a little test kit for about $8 online that will give you a much better result. It has 100 test strips and will be close enough for your purposes.
 
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By any chance would pH strips for pools work, I already have those? And if not, could you please post the Walmart link for the one you mentioned, can't seem to find one that is for soil as well as has 100 strips.
 
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By any chance would pH strips for pools work, I already have those? And if not, could you please post the Walmart link for the one you mentioned, can't seem to find one that is for soil as well as has 100 strips.

There are all kinds online. Just google soil Ph test kits.
 
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Ok, I have one at my house that is used for pool testing, so I'll go with that one, but it tests liquids, how would I test the pH of soil
 
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Ok, I have one at my house that is used for pool testing, so I'll go with that one, but it tests liquids, how would I test the pH of soil
I haven't used one in years but you make a soil solution. I don't know if pool test kits will work with soil or not. I kinda doubt it but I may be wrong.
 
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I haven't used one in years but you make a soil solution. I don't know if pool test kits will work with soil or not. I kinda doubt it but I may be wrong.
Okay, I have two different pH strips so I'll use both for better results. I looked online on how to do a soil test, and there is no clear proportion of soil, distilled water, as well as vinegar. How much should I use of each, and how long should I let it settle for after mixing the three. Also, since I am growing in pots, I guess the depth of the soil in pots doesn't matter much for a pH test right?
 
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Okay, I have two different pH strips so I'll use both for better results. I looked online on how to do a soil test, and there is no clear proportion of soil, distilled water, as well as vinegar. How much should I use of each, and how long should I let it settle for after mixing the three. Also, since I am growing in pots, I guess the depth of the soil in pots doesn't matter much for a pH test right?
If you don't find what you are looking for online look at more sites. I found this in about 10 seconds


Just go get a cheap Ph test kit. It will have directions. I help folks with gardening problems. I don't do online work for them.
 
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If you don't find what you are looking for online look at more sites. I found this in about 10 seconds


Just go get a cheap Ph test kit. It will have directions. I help folks with gardening problems. I don't do online work for them.
Hi again. I'm sorry if I came across that way. I didn't want to work to be done for me. When I started gardening a few months ago, I had a bad experience with trusting an article that I saw online. I saw that you help people every day, that's why I decided to ask you. Also, I wanted to be really sure that I got the potting mix right since I was gardening with 100% topsoil before, and it failed miserably, but I know now that that's completely wrong.
 
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I haven't responded for the past few days since I've been getting the compost, vermiculite, and litmus strips. I went to Home Depot (two actually), but they ran out of Black Kow. I had no choice but to get Timberline compost and cow manure, it had 4-star ratings, but it only is a 0.05-0.05-0.05. I also was able to do a pH test. The Timberline was a 7.5 pH (give or take 0.5) and my plain nutrient-void soil was 5.5 pH (give or take 0.5). Could you please help me continue from here @Chuck? I really appreciate it. Thanks.
 
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I haven't responded for the past few days since I've been getting the compost, vermiculite, and litmus strips. I went to Home Depot (two actually), but they ran out of Black Kow. I had no choice but to get Timberline compost and cow manure, it had 4-star ratings, but it only is a 0.05-0.05-0.05. I also was able to do a pH test. The Timberline was a 7.5 pH (give or take 0.5) and my plain nutrient-void soil was 5.5 pH (give or take 0.5). Could you please help me continue from here @Chuck? I really appreciate it. Thanks.
Compost is usually slightly alkaline to slightly acidic. I think your Ph test was probably .5 too high. And forget about the NPK numbers on any compost. So that would make the compost about neutral and the soil 5.0 which is fairly high in acidity. The first thing you do is mix 20% compost, 10% vermiculite and 20% coconut coir. Don't use peat. And then mix in 50% soil. Mix it up well and take three (3) tests of the mixture and average the three. When this is completed post back the results on this same thread.
 
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Compost is usually slightly alkaline to slightly acidic. I think your Ph test was probably .5 too high. And forget about the NPK numbers on any compost. So that would make the compost about neutral and the soil 5.0 which is fairly high in acidity. The first thing you do is mix 20% compost, 10% vermiculite and 20% coconut coir. Don't use peat. And then mix in 50% soil. Mix it up well and take three (3) tests of the mixture and average the three. When this is completed post back the results on this same thread.
Okay. I have a question, hope it's not too obvious. Should I buy a small amount of coconut coir just for the test, or in bulk for everything I'm going to use the potting mix in? Basically, should I assume that around 20% of my total potting mix for all of my pots will be coconut coir, so I can buy 20% of the total volume of my pots? Also, does this item of coconut coir look good for my uses: click here? I know it says potting mix but if you look at the bottom right of the packaging, it says ingredients 100% coco coir. Lastly, I was wondering what purchases I will need to make after this, in terms of soil and nutrients for the soil so I can budget accordingly. I know you said we haven't gotten to nutrients left but what else would I need to buy after coconut coir including things for nutrients? Thanks again for your patience.
 
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Okay. I have a question, hope it's not too obvious. Should I buy a small amount of coconut coir just for the test, or in bulk for everything I'm going to use the potting mix in? Basically, should I assume that around 20% of my total potting mix for all of my pots will be coconut coir, so I can buy 20% of the total volume of my pots? Also, does this item of coconut coir look good for my uses: click here? I know it says potting mix but if you look at the bottom right of the packaging, it says ingredients 100% coco coir. Lastly, I was wondering what purchases I will need to make after this, in terms of soil and nutrients for the soil so I can budget accordingly. I know you said we haven't gotten to nutrients left but what else would I need to buy after coconut coir including things for nutrients? Thanks again for your patience.
Just what is this "nutrient void soil" you have? Is it just dug up in your backyard or something? The stuff you sent a link to is NOT what you want. It is a potting mix and not even a good potting mix. It appears we are going to have to start from scratch on building you your garden soil.
 
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How does one know which way to go if they don't know what they have. If you are purchasing " so called top soil " you don't have anything but the seller's word about it and believe me there are entrepreneurs that will call anything TOP SOIL. Consider reading reply #7 again. There is nothing complicated about that test if you can take a half dozen samples at random areas, mix those with water in a jar, shaking vigorously for a minute and allow to set over night. After that advance to the nutrient testing and PH testing if you like.
 
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How does one know which way to go if they don't know what they have. If you are purchasing " so called top soil " you don't have anything but the seller's word about it and believe me there are entrepreneurs that will call anything TOP SOIL. Consider reading reply #7 again. There is nothing complicated about that test if you can take a half dozen samples at random areas, mix those with water in a jar, shaking vigorously for a minute and allow to set over night. After that advance to the nutrient testing and PH testing if you like.
Thanks for the suggestion but I have already done a pH test.
 
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Just what is this "nutrient void soil" you have? Is it just dug up in your backyard or something? The stuff you sent a link to is NOT what you want. It is a potting mix and not even a good potting mix. It appears we are going to have to start from scratch on building you your garden soil.
It is something that was sold as a medium to grow in pots. I bought it a few months ago. It was unbranded, and the guy who sold it didn't speak very good English. I've tried growing in it, but things grew well in the beginning, and then failed after a few weeks. This is why assumed it was nutrient void and didn't trust the source. Was that a wrong assumption? I also found rocks in it.
 
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