Q: My soil has a lot of clay in it. It is taking longer than the one minute time stated in the instructions for the soil particles to settle out. Is this OK?
A: Yes. Clay soils may take a longer time to settle out. Allow the cup to sit undisturbed until the soil settles to the bottom. This may take several hours for soils with a high percentage of clay. The pH tube can sit until the color of the solution above the soil is easy to compare to the color chart.
Q: How often should I test my soil?
A: Test in the early spring before any fertilizers or additives are applied. Test again mid season after planting and fertilizing. Then test in the fall to prepare soil for the following growing season. Fall is generally a good time to adjust the pH using the lime requirement guidelines, as it takes time to change soil pH.
Q: The color of my reacted pH sample does not match a color on the color chart. The color is green, but it is darker than the 7.0 value but lighter than the 8.0 value. How should I interpret this result?
A: When the sample color is in between two color chart values, we suggest taking the mid point as the actual test result. In this case, your result should be interpreted as pH 7.5.
Q: The test results on the color chart are reported as Low, Medium and High. What does that mean in terms of lb per acre?
A: Values in lb/acre and lb per 100 sq. ft. can be found on the web page: Interpreting Your Results
Q: The soil test result from the area I have my hydrangea bushes planted was Low for N, P, and K. The chart in the Gardening Guide in the Kit says they like Medium. How much fertilizer do I add?
A. Refer to the chart in the Gardening Guide . This will tell you the relative amounts for ideal levels. You know how much nutrient is available from your test result. Always consult with a nursery professional or extension service to match the best product to your needs.
Q: I tried to run the tests on plant food, but I didn't get any color development. What went wrong?
A: The test kit is designed to test for the available nutrient content in the soil, and should not be used on actual fertilizers. The nutrients in plant food may not be in a form that plants can use right away. The soil and plants may have to change the plant food into a usable form. Then the plants can absorb the nutrient solution through their roots.