The real dirt

In life, I’m equal parts water nerd and garden nerd. Luckily I have a job where my little nerd heart is about to explode — I get paid to keep an eye my Chattahoochee River while receiving much encouragement for my dirt-playing lifestyle.

The best part of said job is letting Mad Scientist Jenn out of her cage several times a month as we check chemical and bacterial levels in the water. (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: I heart volunteers, so contact me if you’d like to join us sometime.)

It’s no surprise then, that when we were at Lowe’s during our Pact Free time in November, I couldn’t resist picking up a $10 soil test kit, so we could have fun with chemicals at home. I’m curious to compare it to the samples we’re mailing off to UGA’s Cooperative Extension Lab. No doubt, UGA will provide better, more-detailed information for the $15 price tag. But if this inexpensive kit lets me do ten quick and fairly-reliable tests of general soil health, I’m willing to try it throughout the season.

Who's thirsty?

Here are the results from yesterday’s soil sample:

ROCK RAISED BED
pH:  7
Nitrogen:  Low
Phosphorus: Medium
Potassium: High

WOODEN RAISED BED
pH: 7.5
Nitrogen Low
Phosphorus: Low
Potassium: High

Clearly it’s time for the addition of some fish emulsion for nitrogen and bone meal for phosphorus. I’ll update you guys later with the results from our professional soil analysis.

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