Chemistry

Healthy soils provide the available nutrients for plants to grow. These are linked to the levels of organic matter, holding nutrients in the root zone ready to be taken up by the plant.

What to test: Important for: Main function
pH Soil pH and levels of acidity affect the availability of
plant nutrients.
Plants grown in acidic soils
experience stress and nutrient
deficiencies
Nitrogen Plant cell division, vital for growth, amino acids Photosynthesis, production of carbohydrates
Phosphorus Photosynthesis, respiration and energy store, early
root formation
Important for root establishment
Helps plants survive harsh winters
Potash Metabolism and translocation of starches increases carbohydrate and water efficiency Important for shoot & leaf development.
Improves quality and disease resistance
Magnesium Key to chlorophyll production, activates plant enzymes Influences earliness and uniform maturity
Traces Plant foods used in tiny amounts Activators of many plant functions

SOIL pH

pH Spectrum

Soil pH playes an important role in nutrient availability, a range of 6.5-7.0 is the best range for most crops.

6.5-7.0 pH is the best range for most crops

Further information can be found here:

http://biologyplants.wikispaces.com/Factors+Affecting+Plant+Growth+-+Neil http://www.ncagr.gov/cyber/kidswrld/plant/nutrient.htm
On Farm Testing

Inspection pits
Microscope
Visual and microscope
Earthworm counts
Opal kits

Lab Testing

Overall biological activity
Bacteria
Fungi
Protazoa
Springtail
Nematodes
Mites

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