How can I test soil to get ph levels???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by twins_lawn_care, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    Hi all,
    everyone is always so helpful, so here I am again.

    I was wondering how I can go about doing an actual soil test, so I can determine how to treat the lawns?

    We are fairly new to this, and have never done any sort of soil tests as of yet. I would appreciate any help on this, as I would like to learn the right way to do things.
    Thanks again for all the help everyone:D

    Also, if you can give a brief description of what to do in certain instances, I'd appreciate that too, and am sure a lot of people are wondering the same.
    Like if ph is low....add lime etc. and thing like that.
    Thanks!
     
  2. tx_angler

    tx_angler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    I'm in Texas and I send my soil tests to the state for analysis. When I send in a smple, I tell them what I'm trying to achieve and they tell me what to do to amend the soil. The cost here in Texas is $10 for a routine analysis. Contact your county extension agent for details in Illinois. Anyway, here's a link to Texas A&M about how to collect and send samples.

    http://soil-testing.tamu.edu/publications/794232-l1793.pdf
     
  3. heybruck34

    heybruck34 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 300

    Lesco charges 12.50 and they give you a bag to put dirt in and send off. The results are very informative and I just get the reps to tell me what I need based on the results.

    It usually takes a week but they are running 3 weeks now due to high demand!
     
  4. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    Thanks for the help guys.
    has anyone used something like this


    Soil Tester

    and if so, is it worth it, or is it junk?
     
  5. 4-Leaf

    4-Leaf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    I found soil tests in Lowes and Home Depot. They cost about $5 and include 4 different vials for 4 different tests. One of the tests is Ph -- another is Nitrogen. I forget the other two.

    They usually keep the packages right next to the flower/vegatable seed display.
     
  6. NCSERVICE

    NCSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    a friend of mine uses one close to that twins lawn care, seems to work well, very handy and looks proffesional
     
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have used soil tests before, pretty darn on accurate
     
  8. PhrankW

    PhrankW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

  9. mmacsek

    mmacsek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 544

    I use Lesco also. The test costs 12.50 including postage. I can also get them done through the local co-op for about $15.00. It is just more convenient to go to Lesco. That's where I buy fertilizer, lime etc. Matt
     
  10. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    If you are just looking for ph, you can buy a decent ph meter from gemplers supply http://gemplers.com/a/shop/product.asp?UID=2003100320365613&GEN2=&GEN3=&GEN9=0&T1=70150 . You might as well pick up a tool for taking core samples also http://gemplers.com/a/shop/product.asp?UID=2003100320381196&GEN2=&GEN3=&GEN9=0&T1=OAK19 . You will want to take several samples across the yard and mix them and remove the grass and thatch. You then mix the soil sample with distilled water and check with the ph meter. This will give you a more accurate ph reading than the meter that you listed in the above link, as you will end up with an average of the entire yard.
     

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