Genetic testing kits can help you dig into your ancestry and family heritage. CNET has assessed popular DNA services to show you which provide the information you want most Looking for the best DNA test kits for 2018? Here are your best options. by. David Gewirtz. July 10, 2018 3:12 PM PDT. Each color shows a chemical component of DNA. Getty Images. Home DNA testing has gone from a curiosity to a competitive market in the past decade, with at least a dozen companies now competing with trailblazers such as Ancestry and 23andMe.
Chemistry.com provides a more guided approach to online dating than other sites. You are matched with other members based on compatibility using their in-depth personality test developed by Dr. Helen Fisher. She is an anthropologist with more than 30 years experience researching relationships. Chemistry.com is the sister site of Match.com, and was developed to focus on finding you deeper, long lasting relationships.
Read our review and if you are still not convinced, you can signup and view your matches at Chemistry.com today for free! Price Chemistry.com offers only one type of membership plan.
They offer 1, 3, and 6 month membership lengths and the longer the membership you signup for, the bigger the savings on the per month cost. Chemistry.com bills you up front for your entire membership length. It is free to view your matches, but you must signup for a plan in order to contact another member or see who has noticed you. Membership Plan: Membership The membership base at Chemistry.com is not as large as some competing sites, however, the members are generally looking for the same kind of deeper, fulfilling, loving relationships.
Many members are looking for long-term relationships or marriage, and the age range is generally over 30. The membership may be a little less diverse than other sites and slightly more affluent. Chemistry.com serves heterosexual and same sex relationships. Chemistry.com matches you with compatible members based on the personality test devised by Dr. Fisher. Each member is given a personality type (Director, Negotiator, Builder, Explorer) and matched with other members based on the compatibility of your personalities.
Demographics*: Features / Search Guided online dating and strong connections based on personality is what make Chemistry.com different from other online dating sites. When you first signup for Chemistry.com, you are required fill out your personality test where you are asked different types of questions. Other than the basics of appearance and lifestyle, you are asked questions that reveal aspects of your personality such as, What color reflects your personality?, Is your index finger longer than your ring finger?
or you are shown a picture and given a multiple choice question about it. You don't actually search on Chemistry.com, your matches are given to you based on this personality test and your basics of what you are looking for in a partner. Since this profile is more in-depth, it will take you a while to fill out, but it is definitely worth your time. When reviewing your matches, you can indicate if you are interested or not interested.
If you are interested, then you make a "connection" with that member and can email them or use the online flirting games to see if you are more compatible. Chemistry.com gives you a personality type based on your responses to their test; see below for more info. The site gives you plenty of information about the personality types and what makes you compatible with other personality types.
It is really interesting to see which type you are and read about your personality. Your personality type is used to match you with other members that Chemistry.com thinks you will be very compatible with. In fact, your "mymatches" list doesn't show photos at first, but shows your matches' personality type instead. Chemistry.com has a connections feature where you can contact your matches and flirt to see if you both are interested.
You can also review your matches' profiles and receive alerts when someone has emailed you or shown interest in your profile. Chemistry.com has a new feature, "mystream", where you can view a snapshot of the Chemistry.com community based on your settings and profile.
If you update your profile, your updates may be put on the stream. You can send members a "cheer" if you enjoy their update and let them know that you noticed them.
This is a great way to meet members that may not show up in your "mymatches" page. Also featured on Chemistry.com is "the chemistry blog", which gives you relationship advice and insight by Dr. Helen Fisher, a relationship expert with over 30 years experience. Your Profile Includes Basics - Age, Height, Hair Color, Eye Color, Body Type, Ethnicity Relationship History, Children, Smoker, Drinker, Location Interests, Religion, Political Views, Education, Income, Profession In Your Own Words - Open Ended Essay Personality Type Add up to 50 photos Matching & Personality Types Matches Based on Compatibility & Personality Alerts When New Matches Are Found New Matches Each Day Director - Decisive, focused, and independent Negotiator - Imaginative, empathetic, and nurturing Builder - Social, loyal, and dependable Explorer - Spontaneous, creative, and open-minded Features MyMatches Email Alerts Personality Type & Compatibility Matching Connections - Members that have peaked your interest Who's Noticed You Chemistry Starters - Online Flirting Games Articles & Dating Insight from expert Dr.
Helen Fisher MyStream - See what other compatible members are up to Link to your Windows Live account Communication Chemistry.com is one of the only sites to offer "free communication weekends" where members that have a profile but don't pay for a subscription can actually respond and communicate with other members. However, once the promo weekend is done, you will need to signup for a paid subscription in order to continue to communicate.
Unlike some other dating sites, Chemistry.com only allows you to communicate with your matches based on your comprehensive personality profile. You can't search for matches, rather your matches are shown to you on your "mymatches" page. You can click on matches and let them know you are interested by clicking the "I'm interested" button.
You can then email your matches and start communicating. You can also flirt using online dating games or "Chemistry Starters", and discover who has noticed you or wants to connect with you.
The "Chemistry Starters" are icebreakers where you and your matches can play games to see if you connect. For example, the "5 Card Sort" is where you select a category, then sort picture cards to see if you have the same personality and mindset.
These connections often produce deeper relationships than just finding out you both enjoy an activity like skiing. Privacy / Safety Your safety is always a primary concern when you start interacting online and posting personal information, even on an online dating site where you want members to see your info.
Chemistry.com works a bit differently than other online dating site by only showing you compatible matches based on your personality tests. This means you can't search for members at random. So when you view a match, you can indicate that you are not interested in that member. That member will not show up in anymore of your match lists and they can no longer contact you.
So this effectively blocks the member. You can also hide your profile should you decide to take a break, but you can always re-enable your profile later. Chemistry.com also allows you to be in their "member spotlight" much like Match.com, their sister site. The "member spotlight" allows your profile and picture to show up in Chemistry.com ads and partner sites increasing the chances you will get noticed.
Unlike Match.com, Chemistry.com disables this feature on your profile by default, which we really liked because it protects your privacy and allows you to explicitly agree to sharing your profile. Chemistry.com also has online dating safety tips, which make you aware of fraud attempts and give you safety tips about meeting in person. We recommend that you read these tips before using Chemistry.com. You can also report any concerns you have about a member to Chemistry.com's support staff.
Customer Support Chemistry.com offers email and phone support, which is great because a lot of online dating sites only offer email support. Their support staff is friendly and professional, and they were quick to answer our phone call (less than 2 minutes on hold).
Their help page is very simple to follow and all aspects of your account and profile can be managed from this page. Chemistry.com also has a great FAQ section which should be able to answer most of your questions. Chemistry.com has a very simple, clean layout to their site. It was very easy to navigate and not overly complicated with too much information. Disclosure: We are a professional review site and in order to offer this service to you for free, we receive compensation from the companies whose products we review.
We give high marks to only the very best. We spend a lot of time and effort to make sure that our reviews are independent and honest. We are independently owned and the expert opinions expressed here are our own.
best dating chemistry test kits - Best DNA Ancestry Testing Kits
Quick Navigation • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Most people know what their plants need to thrive. But how will you know if your garden has everything it really needs? Test the soil, of course! And yet there’s so many test types available. How should you choose? I’ll help you sort through the different types of soil test kits that are on the market today and find the best soil test kit for your needs. Better yet, I’ll explain all about testing your soil and how to do it.
Chemical Best Soil Test Kit: Hybrid Chemical/Digital Best Soil Test Kit: Digital Best Soil Test Kit: Second Best Soil Test Kit (Digital): Best Soil Test Kit – Pro Lab Testing: Other Good Choices: • • • • • Why Should You Test Your Soil? Just like people, plants have particular nutrients they need to grow. In fact, every box of fertilizer has a list of the most common ones – nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
There’s also other nutrients, like calcium, which are essential to healthy plants. When you first start to garden, it’s important to test your soil to know what you’re working with. That way, you can amend it to suit the needs of what you want to grow. Without testing, you won’t know if your base soil is already just fine and ready to go, or whether it’s going to require a lot of blending with other materials to improve it enough to be fertile.
You may find you don’t need to fertilize at all. Over-fertilization can actually cause problems with your plants, causing them to grow erratically.
Root-forking is common in carrots that have been over fertilized, for example. Nobody wants a three-legged carrot! But if your soil is lacking nutrients, you need to be aware of it so you can repair that. You’ll need to know the pH of your soil as well. Too alkaline or acidic soil will not produce good growth results. While all plants are different, and require different levels of acidity or alkalinity, most like a neutral range.
If you don’t test your soil, you simply can’t determine what you’ve got at hand. And how are you going to guarantee the best growth your plants could possibly support without knowing? What Types Of Tests To Run On Your Soil So you know why you should test. Next we’ll go over what you need to test. Some of these things are more important than others, so let’s dive in!
Macronutrient Testing Most fertilizers have an NPK rating. That string of numbers tells you what the ratios of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) are in your fertilizer. But what you don’t know is whether your soil has too much potassium to start out. It’s important to test your soil prior to adding additional fertilizer. After all, if you have a nitrogen-dense soil, why add more to it? There are chemical tests which have varying levels of accuracy on P and K, but most tests tend to be inaccurate on nitrogen.
Nitrogen tends to be somewhat mobile in the soil, and can also become patchy. It’s also heavily used by plants as the primary ingredient to spur leaf and stem growth. Even soil test facilities have a hard time measuring nitrogen well!
Phosphorous spurs fruit and flower growth, and is essential to folks growing tomatoes or other fruits and vegetables. Too much of this nutrient can cause a plant to put out an overly-large number of flowers. It might look beautiful while they’re in bloom. But for anything that fruits, you may be creating a lot of future stress on the plant.
Potassium is the root-developer. Without enough potassium, root systems may stay small, curtailing the plant’s eventual growth. Too much potassium may be a problem for people who’re growing root crops, as it can cause misshapen roots. Micronutrient Testing While the majority of commercially-available home soil test kits don’t test for anything behind the basic NPK list above and sometimes soil acidity, there’s other nutrients that your plants need for continued growth.
Some of those include calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and more. There’s also other more ominous things that can be tested for, such as lead or an abundance of sulfates from ice melts. While some of these can be in even healthy soil, too high of a lead content can be a risk for you or your kids. Sulfates can stunt growth in some plants if the levels are too high. Soil pH Testing Don’t forget to test the acidity or alkalinity of your soil! Most plants prefer a neutral soil pH, somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0 being the ideal range.
However, a few plants like their soil more acidic than that. Depending on what you’re growing, you may need to adjust the pH of your soil. Testing of soil pH can also widely vary, but you can get a basic concept of your soil pH, which is good enough for most home gardeners. Adding products like lime or calcium to your soil may have effects on increasing or decreasing your soil’s pH level.
How To Test Soil pH We’ve come a long way from having to taste-test our soil to determine alkalinity or acidity. That’s what early farmers did long ago, well before contemporary test methods. A soil that tastes sour is likely acidic, one which tastes sweet is alkaline. Either way, you’d still have to eat dirt, which makes modern methodology a whole lot easier (and better tasting!). Depending on the type of tester that you are using, it can be as simple to test your soil pH as sticking a probe in the ground.
Chemical testers are also available in varying amounts of efficiency. If you’re using a chemical pH tester, follow the manufacturer’s directions. The process usually involves adding a small bit of soil and water to a test capsule or other testing colorant, which will help you to determine your approximate pH.
With a digital pH tester, make sure it’s set to test pH and not anything else, as some can test sunlight levels, soil moisture, or NPK content as well. Then press it into the ground to the required level per manufacturer’s instructions. Most testers with a LED screen will register the level within about a minute. A gauge tester will usually register the level in 10 minutes or less.
Types Of Soil Testers While I briefly touched on it above, there’s three basic types of soil testers: chemical, digital, or an outside professional service. Let’s go over some more detail on these. Chemical Soil Testers Most chemical soil testers are quite straightforward. Place a small amount of soil in a vial, and add water to fill, then drop in a colored capsule that matches the vial’s lid color.
Each color corresponds to the soil nutrient that it is meant to test for. Shake it, and then wait per manufacturer’s directions. The color of the liquid inside can then be compared to a chart which will help you get a rough estimate of the levels of that nutrient.
Slightly more advanced versions of these require you to add a drop to a few drops of a chemical reagent from a vial, but those come with more thorough directions and a selection of options to test for. While these aren’t necessarily the most accurate tests on the market, they will give you a reasonable indication of what you need to add to your soil. With a chemical soil test kit, you’re going to have a limited number of uses based off how many capsules or vials of reagent come with your kit.
It’s expected that once you’ve used those, you dispose of the kit and replace it with a new kit. This prevents aging of the plastic vials and ensures you’ll have fresh testing agents.
Here’s a short video on one form of chemical soil testers, so you can see how the process works! Caring For Digital Soil Testers Digital soil test probes are a bit more finicky than chemical ones.
These units usually use an electrical charge to test for certain levels of a given soil component, and thus often require batteries. Prior to using your digital soil tester, and once you’ve completed using it, be sure to thoroughly clean the probe or probes with alcohol or soap and water. Some professional-level kits include special cleaning solutions which ensure that all particles of soil are removed from the tester’s surface. This ensures that it’s ready to use the next time you need to run a test.
If your digital tester comes with vials, it is meant to be used with a slurry of soil and water inside the vial, and sometimes has an added chemical component. Generally, it’s best to use deionized or distilled water for testing purposes. It will give you a slightly more accurate result. Other digital testers are meant to go directly into the soil. These testers are slightly less accurate than the ones with vials, but for a quick soil test are quite easy to use.
With this kind of soil tester, you’ll need to clean the probes after each test, and you may need to test multiple areas. Most of the digital test kits on the market today are oriented primarily towards gauging pH levels. If your interest is in the macronutrients in your soil, you may need a chemical kit. Professional Soil Testing The most accurate form of soil testing is done by professionals in a lab setting. Scientists have multiple pieces of lab equipment at hand that ensure you’ll get an accurate portrayal of what’s in your soil makeup.
However, even professional soil testing relies on your accuracy in harvesting the soil samples. You will need to take samples from multiple spots and blend them thoroughly together, then allow them to completely dry out. At that time, you can take it to the lab or mail it. Once it arrives at the lab, they will do a series of tests.
These have a much higher accuracy level for potassium and phosphorous. Labs can also test for micronutrients in the soil which other commercial kits don’t test for, such as sulfur, manganese, zinc, copper, calcium, and many more. Even these tests are prone to having varying levels of accuracy, but that’s partially because of the nature of soil. In a patch of soil, you’ll find pockets of different nutrients, and areas where plant roots are located may be less nutrient-rich than places where they’re not.
A prime example is nitrogen. Since it’s transient in soil and is quite water-soluble, nitrogen has a tendency to be difficult to test for. They can identify how much nitrogen is in your soil sample, but that doesn’t mean it’s at those levels throughout your entire yard.
However, with professional soil testing, they can make recommendations for amendments based on what plants you intend to grow in the area of your soil sample.
One of the good things about a professional test is that they also analyze the makeup of your soil. You can learn exactly how much organic material, sand, silt, or clay is in your growing medium and use that to help build up the soil from there.
There’s a lot of benefits to professional testing, but if you’re looking for a quick result, that’s not one of them. Often, it can take a week to a couple weeks to get your results back, so you’re stuck waiting for a bit. The video below will show you how to read your soil test results if you opt for professional testing. This is a basic macronutrient test. Most testing facilities offer more thorough tests for an additional fee. Where Can I Get My Soil Tested For Free? Many local agricultural extensions of colleges offer soil testing services.
For some areas of the United States, it’s as simple as stopping by your local library and picking up a soil sample box. You then acquire the sample per the instructions inside the box, and drop it off at the test facility. However, not every ag extension offers free testing services.
You will need to check in your area to see if these services are available to you. Sometimes there is a small fee for mailing your results or for the chemicals that are used in the process of testing. It’s usually quite reasonable for the level of data that you’re getting! Homemade pH Testing You can do a very rudimentary home pH test with just a few simple components. You’ll need your soil sample, two clean containers, some baking soda, some white vinegar, and some distilled water.
Split your soil sample into the two clean containers. You’ll want a couple of spoonfuls in each, as it won’t take much soil to run the test. In one of the containers, add a half cup of white vinegar and watch the result closely. If there is any bubbling or a fizzing sound, your soil is alkaline and needs more acidic content to bring it to a neutral soil state.
In the other container, add half a cup of water and loosely mix it together with the soil. Then add half a cup of baking soda. As before, if the soil fizzes or bubbles, you have your result, but in this case, your soil is acidic and needs more alkaline matter to bring it to neutral.
If neither test results in a response, you’ve got nice, neutral soil. While this test won’t guarantee that the soil is optimal for your specific types of plants, it does give you a good starting point, and you can fine-tune later with more advanced testing options!
Best Soil Test Kit Reviews Finally, let’s decide what’s the best soil test kit for your needs. In this section, we’ll go over the top of the line soil testers for home use and offer some insight on those.
We’ll go over a couple professional soil testing companies as well. Best Soil Test Kit – Chemical Rapitest Premium Soil Test Kit 1663 $25.97 For being a premium kit, this Rapitest soil test kit is actually quite a bargain. With 80 possible tests you can do, this kit measures pH, N, P, and K.
It doesn’t offer micronutrient testing, but most home kits don’t, so that’s unsurprising. Instructions are a step-by-step guide to how to perform these tests. You’ll need to have a little patience, as it can take some time for your test results to appear, but it’s still quicker than sending soil off to a lab or extension office.
It comes in a sturdy plastic carrying case, and refills are available for the different test agents. If you just want an overall home test, this is the best soil test kit I can recommend. To me, this one even has better results than the digital kits. But you will need to have a steady hand to extract the right amount of chemical agents from their vials. You might feel a bit like a mad scientist, too! But overall, I can’t recommend this kit highly enough. Get one for your garden supply cabinet.
Best Soil Test Kit – Chemical/Digital Hybrid Luster Leaf 1605 Rapitest Digital Soil Test Kit from $3.88 The 1605 Rapitest soil test kit combines chemical NPK macronutrient testing and pH testing with a digital reader.
For people who find the shaken chemical kits to be difficult to read, the digital reader is a godsend. Like most tests of its sort, the Luster Leaf 1605 isn’t a replacement for a full lab test from an ag extension or pro lab. It’s simply a good, fast home option. Refill capsules and test tubes are available for your reader. You won’t be stuck purchasing a new reader every time! However, you’ll want to be sure to keep your digital reader as clean as possible to keep it functioning optimally.
For a new gardener, or for an old hand who just simply hates color-matching against a badly-printed chart, this is a great choice. I consider this to be an overall second best soil test kit amongst all the choices, and definitely a good pick. Best Soil Test Kit – Digital Luster Leaf 1847 Rapitest Digital PLUS Soil pH Meter $23.96 This soil pH meter may not test for macronutrients or micronutrients, but it tests for something equally as important.
Without balanced soil pH, your plants just won’t thrive. Meant to be used as an in-soil probe, you’ll need to clean the probe wand after each use. The 1847 tests the pH at plant root level. Simply take your clean probe and insert it at the base of your plant, deep in the soil. Then wait, and the screen will show the level once the test is complete. It also has a database of popular plants and their preferred pH levels built-in. Trying to optimize for each plant?
This unit will help you do just that! Second Best Soil Test Kit – Digital Rapitest 1880 Electronic 4-Way Analyzer I’ve got one of these, and I have to say, it has both its pros and cons. Overall, it’s one of the best soil test kit purchases I could have made, but it’s no match for some of the other options above. Let’s look at it in detail.
Unlike all the other units mentioned so far, this unit measures sunlight levels along with macronutrients, soil pH, and soil moisture. However, I find that its macronutrient test is hit or miss. It doesn’t sample individual macronutrients, so you can’t tell how much nitrogen is in a given location. Instead, it does an overall “soil fertility” test which senses NPK in the soil and averages them together. That works just fine for plants that like a balanced fertilizer, and you can easily identify your baseline fertility.
But that doesn’t work as well for heavy feeders on nitrogen, or for encouraging heavy blossoms on your flowering plants, etcetera. So for macronutrient testing, this is in no way approaching a pro lab test. For soil moisture it’s phenomenal. Sunlight levels are great tests too, especially if you’re setting up a new garden and need to know how much light your plants will get.
And the pH tester seems to be accurate enough for me! Best Soil Test Kit – Pro Lab Testing Soil Savvy Soil Test Kit • Soil Testing Simplified!
Soil Savvy is a Ready-To-Use... • Analysis provides a full report, comprised of soil pH and 14... • A truly Sustainable approach to fertilizer management, Soil... • The same soil testing technology used by leading...
• Each Kit includes all needed components and instructions for... $29.95 It’s hard to compare commercial-level professional labs, but Soil Savvy is a very popular and highly-regarded option.
All pro labs and agricultural extensions do essentially the same series of tests, and thus have similar results. Soil Savvy is just a bit faster at getting those results back to the person who needs them! Soil Savvy tests for both macronutrients and micronutrients.
Nitrogen results show as the total nitrogen in the sample as well as showing levels of both nitrate and ammonium. In addition, the tests give results for phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, and aluminum. If you want a kit that will also make reasonable fertilizer recommendations for you, Soil Savvy should be your choice. It will offer recommendations for both organic and synthetic fertilizer types, as well as a recommendation of how much fertilizer you should use to improve your soil at its current level.
For those new to soil testing, this is a great perk, and worth the money. Those who’ve got experience with soil testing already may be able to just go to the ag extension where it will be cheaper or free.
Even then, the fertilizer recommendations are handy and worth it overall. Other Good Chemical Soil Test Kits Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Soil Test Kit • Quick, at home results for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphrous and...
• Innovative and inexpensive soil test kit features an... • Contains all components needed for 40 tests. 10 for each of... • Simple, detailed instructions included. Great for beginners... • Soil pH preference list for over 450 plants included $14.74 Widely available, this is the classic home chemical kit.
Simply put a small sample of soil into the tube side of the box, add some distilled water and the appropriate reagent capsule, and shake it up. Let it sit until the color has fully developed, and match it against their color chart. You’ll find variations of this type of test kit available elsewhere as small tubes. However, what the 1601 can offer that other kits lack is an attached color chart. There’s no fear of losing your color chart with this soil test kit – it’s right on the test unit itself.
Each test box handles one of four tests: pH, N, P, or K and can run ten tests without a refill package. It’s never going to be as accurate or detailed as a professional testing would be. But, if you’re just looking for a baseline reading, this is a great and inexpensive option.
AquaChek AccuGrow 571802 Soil Test Strips $34.99 I’m not a huge fan of test strip kits. Their accuracy isn’t pinpoint; it’s more of a range, so you may still need further testing. But for ease of use, they’re high on the list.
Simply mix some soil with distilled water, shake it up, and put your test strip in. When you pull it out, your base reading is visible. It’s a little easier to read than the Rapitest 1601, but when I say a little, I should probably say “only a tiny bit easier”. Your comparison chart is separate from the test unit itself, so you have to make sure you don’t lose it. But you can get the two color strips side-by-side for the closest estimate your eyes can see.
Overall, while this is useful for a baseline, it’s not going to be as useful as a professional test. But if you just need an estimate so that you know if you need that pro test, this is a great choice.
Other Good Digital Soil Test Kits 3-Way Soil Tester $11.00 This unit measures pH, soil moisture, and light. Not fancy, nor likely to win any awards for its high level of detail, it functions and does precisely what it’s meant to do.
For those who need to check their pH level of their soil regularly, this is a good, basic unit. The sunlight sensor on this unit is positioned on the front center of the device, and it’s an odd placement. I find that a sunlight sensor on the top of the unit is more accurate.
But for the price, you can’t beat it as a basic pH reader. 3-In-1 Soil Tester • 3 in 1 Soil Tester: 1.Moisture Meter - Let you know when to... • 3.Sunlight Guage - Help you to determine if plant getting... • Easy to Use: No Battery needed; Simply insert the probe of... • Simply insert probe of the meter into the soil to remaining...
• Indoor & Outdoor Use : Design to be lightweight and... $6.99 This, like the 3-Way tester above it, is another in-ground pH, moisture and light tester. It’s an old design, and honestly, it isn’t my favorite device. I find that the meter’s visual pH ideal is set too high with a 7-8 soil pH as “optimal”, when realistically you’re aiming for a pH of 6-7 for most plant growth. However, for an inexpensive pH meter, it still gives you a reasonable indication of your soil’s acidity or alkalinity.
Like the one above it on our list, the sunlight sensor is positioned oddly. But where this device excels is at moisture indication. This really helps with ensuring you’ve got the right moisture level for your plants, not too wet nor dry.
Both of the 3-function soil testers we’ve mentioned take about 15-20 minutes to reach their most accurate range. Even then, it’s a range, and definitely won’t replace a professional testing.
Other Good Pro Lab Soil Testing Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit $14.99 Finally, we reach our last test, and it’s a commercial lab test kit. Whitetail Institute offers a free consultation about your soil with the purchase of your kit. The consultation is a very short one on the phone which mostly breaks down your results into layman’s terms. You also receive a full report with detailed breakdown of your soil nutrients. However, where Soil Savvy offers a pre-paid shipping envelope, Whitetail Institute does not.
You will need to not only purchase the test, but you’ll need to pay to ship your soil sample. Given the price of the test, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to not have shipping included. The results, however, are thorough and definitely worth having. You can get similar results at your local ag extension, but if you don’t want to hunt that down, this isn’t a bad choice of lab to go through.
There you have it, my breakdown of the best soil test kit choices available to you at the start of 2018! Knowing your soil means that you know what you have to do to coax the best plants from it. I encourage you to pick up one of these kits and test your soil before the spring planting season comes!
Have you used any of these kits before? Do you find that you test pH or macronutrients more often? Does your local ag extension still offer free testing? Tell your stories in the comments below!
MorningChores participates in affiliate programs, which means we may receive commissions if you purchased an item via links on this page to retailer sites. Our editorial content is not influenced by commisions. . If you like to garden, you know how important it is to fertilize your plants so that they can grow healthy and strong. But, do you really know what nutrients are missing from your soil that your plants might need? Having a soil tester on hand will help you not only know what is in your soil, but also what you need to add to it to give it the right pH levels.
Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best soil test kit for you. Image Product Name Price Rating $$$ A+ $$$ B $$ A+ $$ A+ $ B Our Pick for the Best Soil Test Kit KKmall® 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter, PH acidity Tester and Light Meter For a digital test, you'd normally have to buy one kit for each test.
But not with KKMall 3-in-1. This kit allows you to test moisture, pH, and light at once. If you're like most gardeners, these are often enough. Above all, the test is quite accurate for its price.
Why do we need to test soil? Before you add fertilizer to your soil, it is important to know what your TDS and pH levels are. Once you know what your soil lacks, you will also know what you need to add to it to make it as healthy as possible.
A high quality soil tester will be able to provide you with the specific qualities of your soil so that you can pick the best fertilizer for your plants. A high quality test kit will also be able to tell you what plants will grow the best in the soil that you have. Depending on your climate, your soil and location may best geared for very specific plants.
A test kit will help you figure the best plants for your area so that you don’t use the wrong plants and have massive crop failure. Another thing a soil test kit will help you avoid is over-fertilization.
By over-fertilizing your plants, you will make your crops grow too fast which leaves them open to diseases. A soil test kit will help you avoid several issues so it is important to test regularly and for the correct things. What do soil testers test for?
When you are testing your soil, you will need to know what things that you need to keep an eye on. The most common thing to test for is soil pH. By knowing your soil pH, you can then get the optimum amount of nutrients for your plants. Your pH levels should measure between one and fourteen with a neutral pH coming in at seven. If the level is under seven, then you have soil that is acidic. Everything above seven will be alkaline soil. Soil that is too acidic will keep the chemicals in the fertilizer from getting to the plants.
You will also want to test your soil’s conductivity which can be measured in two different ways. The TDS is the total dissolved solids and it measure what amount of fertilizer you have in your soil already.
Electrical conductivity measures will measure the amount of the nutrients in your soil. Knowing these levels will help you know what is in your soil and then you can decide on the amount of fertilizer you will need. Measuring the soil temperature will let you know what to grow and how. Different crops need different temperatures to be able to germinate and it is vital that you test the soil temperature first. Make sure to measure it at the plant depth and not just at the surface.
Your seed packaging will help you find out what the best temperature is for each specific plant. What to look for in a soil tester? pH Readings One feature that is a must have in a soil tester is a pH reading. The most common thing to test your soil for is pH. By knowing your soil pH, you can then get the optimum amount of nutrients for your plants. Your pH levels should measure between one and fourteen with a neutral pH coming in at seven.
If the level is under seven, then you have soil that is acidic. Everything above seven will be alkaline soil. Soil that is too acidic will keep the chemicals in the fertilizer from getting to the plants. Conductivity Readings You also want to make sure your tester can test your soil’s conductivity which can be measured in two different ways. The TDS is the total dissolved solids and it should measure what amount of fertilizer you have in your soil already.
Electrical conductivity measures will measure the amount of the nutrients in your soil. Knowing these levels will help you know what is in your soil and then you can decide on the amount of fertilizer you will need.
Temperature Readings A simple temperature reading is also a great feature to have in your tester. Measuring the soil temperature will let you know what to grow and how. Different crops need different temperatures to be able to germinate and it is vital that you test the soil temperature first. Make sure to measure it at the plant depth and not just at the surface. Your seed packaging will help you find out what the best temperature is for each specific plant. Are there different types of soil testers?
There are several different types of soil testers out there and they will give different combinations of measurements. When you just want to test the pH, you should not have a hard time finding an affordable meter. You can also get meters that will measure moistures levels as well as light. When you are measuring conductivity and pH, you will find lots of options that will combine these results.
You can also find testers that will measure EC and TDS. A high quality kit will give you the right amount of equipment to perform several tasks with just the one device.
It should be a durable kit that comes with instructions on how to perform all the tests. If you can’t find a tester that measures what you want, you can contact a professional to see what kits will work for you needs.
How do you care for soil testers? To make sure you get consistent and accurate measurements from your soil tester, make sure to properly maintain it so it will always work correctly. It is important to always use the right calibration solution with your test and make sure that it is clean and stored correctly at all times. Best Soil Test Kit – Product Reviews 1. Environmental Concepts 1662 Professional Soil Test Kit The Environmental Concepts 1662 Professional Soil Test Kit is a top rated kit that comes in a durable carrying case so it is easy to transport around your yard while you test your garden.
The Environmental Concepts comes with a comprehensive instruction booklet that helps you determine what is the best way to use your kit and find out how to get the best use out of your soil.
The Environmental Concepts Soil Test kit can give you accurate and fast results with readings that you need to get the most out of your soil to nurture the plants that you want. The kit is also great for a professional or in a classroom. It is also an affordable and effective solution to your gardening needs.
This is definitely a kit that customers love due to its ease of use and its high accuracy levels. When you purchase an Environmental Concepts Soil Test kit, you know you are buying a long lasting product that will be accurate every time. Due to its consistency and durable construction, the Environmental Concepts Soil Test kit is a popular product for consumers. What we like: • Tests are easy to conduct • Easy to use and provide quick results • Comes with instructional booklet • Fun to use with kids too What we don't like: • Plastic filtration device splits at the seam • Plunger system is hard to use • Chemical test, may not ideal for gardeners 2.
Luster Leaf 1605 Rapitest Digital Soil Testing Kit The Luster Leaf 1605 Rapitest Digital Soil Testing Kit is another popular option in the industry. It features advanced LED digital technology that uses colors as a part of the test readings. It is simple to use. All you need to do is push a test button and you will receive your results in seconds. The kit features over 450 plants to choose from with pH preferences for them all so you will know when and how to adjust the pH in your soil for each plant.
The Luster Leaf Soil kit also includes a booklet with guidelines for fertilizing based on your phosphorus, nitrogen and potash results. There are 25 different tests with ten that are specifically for pH and five other just for phosphorus, nitrogen and potash. This is a versatile soil test kits that give you accurate and fast ratings when you need them making it one of the top rated soil test kits on the market.
The Luster Leaf Soil kit also provides you with extra tools that help you take care of your soil for years to come so you will always know stages to take to make sure you are getting the most out of your soil.
The Luster Leaf makes working with soil a much easier tasks with simple and easy to read results. What we like: • Easy to understand directions • Kit is easy to use and not messy What we don't like: • Tester may not work at all for the pH • Tester either displays the highest or lowest value each time • Can be inaccurate 3. Environmental Concepts pH7 Dual Probe Soil PH Meter The Environmental Concepts pH7 Dual Probe Soil PH Meter has a dual probe system that helps you get accurate readings every time.
It automatically measures the pH in your soil so you will always know what you are working with. It includes information on how to test your soil and what are the best ways to control and balance pH levels in your soil. The Environmental Concepts pH7 Dual Probe Soil PH Meter does not use batteries and it is very simple to use. Once you figure out how to you’re the kit, you will find is very simple to test your soil and why so many people are buying it.
Gardeners and agriculturalists love this kit due to its ease of use and its affordability. It you like to grow things, as a hobby or as a professional, you will appreciate the intuitiveness of this kit and how accurate it is. What we like: • Great price and doesn’t require batteries • Much easier to use than its competitors • Very simple to use with clear results What we don't like: • Not sensitive enough • Seems to break easily 4.
KKmall® 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter, PH acidity Tester and Light Meter The KKmall® 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter PH Acidity Tester and Light Meter is a three in one product. It measures your soil’s moisture, it's pH level and the light level in one small tester. It is easy to use. All you have to do is plug it in, push the meter into the soil and find the reading. No batteries are needed. The KKmall pH Acidity Tester and Light Meter is compact and can be used indoor and out.
The KKmall is perfect for letting you know when you need to add water, adjust your pH or change the light for your plants. It is scientifically accurate and promotes healthy plants. What we like: • Tests pH, moisture and light • Easy to use and no batteries required • More accurate than other digital test kits What we don't like: • Breaks easily • Test results might be inaccurate compared to chemical tests 5.
Jellas Moisture Sensor Meter The Jellas Moisture Sensor Meter has a test range between one and ten that tells you if you are in a dry area (one to three red zone), moist area (four to eight green zone) or a wet area (eight to ten blue zone). It has an easy to read moisture level indicator that will help promote your plants’ healthy growth.
It does not require batteries or electricity needed, it just plugs in and you can read the scale. Jellas Moisture Sensor Meter is compact with a portable design that is easy to use inside and out.
The Moisture Meter is easy to check so that you can keep up to date with your plants. What we like: • Great tool to have to check water levels • Do not need batteries to operate it • Readings are easy to see and read What we don't like: • It doesn’t tell you what it is measuring when you look at it • Doesn’t give you accurate readings • Tip of the meter breaks off easily Our Pick for the Best Soil Test Kit After reviewing some of the best products on the market, the result is quite disappointing.
Chemical test is too much of a hassle, while digital test gives limited and inaccurate result. This is the reason why most people don't bother testing their soil. However, if you find your soil is not ideal for gardening and you have to conduct a test, this is the best of the bunch: KKmall® 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter, PH acidity Tester and Light Meter For a digital test, you'd normally have to buy one kit for every test.
But not with KKMall 3-in-1. This kit allows you to test moisture, pH, and light at once. If you're like most gardeners, these are often enough. Above all, the test is quite accurate.
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