Sunday, May 6, 2012

Soil test

I bought a soil test from Johanssen's Greenhouse (lusterleaf rapitest). Could have gone with the UW-Extension test, but I didn't feel like taking the time, and for the same price, I get 10 tests with the do-it-yourself kind.

The main reason I wanted to test my soil is that I read that onions prefer a slightly acidic soil of pH 6.0-7.0). My soil, which is actually a combo of soil and compost, tested at 7.0 or higher, probably north of neutral.

The test told me about all the ways I could amend the soil to acidify it by adding iron or aluminum sulfate. But I also want to, within the constraints of my small garden, rotate crops. So one year's onion patch may be next years tomatos, which can tolerate 5.5 - 7.5 or eggplant (5.0-6.0) or peppers (6.0-8.0).

Actually, now that I look at my favorite veggies, all of them prefer a bit more acidic soil. Maybe it is time to amend. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?