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Environmental Concepts 1662 Professional Soil Test Kit with 40 Tests
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- Contains components for 40 tests. 10 each for Soil pH, N, P and K
- Comes with sturdy plastic case
- Simple and detailed instructions included
- pH preference list for hundreds of plants included
- Tips for gardening and altering soil conditions included
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The #1662 Soil Test Kit from Environmental Concepts is a liquid based testing kit which is great for hobbyists, classrooms and professionals. In contains all components needed for a total of 40 tests. 10 each for soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash. Detailed instructions are included along with extensive guidelines for altering soil and using the best plants for your soil environment. From Environmental Concepts, makers of high quality soil testing products for over 40 years.
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The booklet provides guidance in interpreting readings and how unacceptable readings are corrected, leaving specific instructions for product use to the brand company. In the case of generic substances like lime, the booklet provides a table indicating pounds per 1000 square feet based on soil type and consistency. The booklet also provides extensive lists of plants and flowers suitable for which Ph environment and does the same for grass types.
Someone said the tester does not provide numerical values for the relative scale. This is a $20 consumer test kit. A soil test lab can report index scale or parts per million by using atomic absorption spectrophotometers, Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometers (ICPs), Alpkem Rapid Flow Analyzers, Lachat Flow Injection Analyzer; and colorimeters, literally many hundreds of thousands of dollars in test equipment and those results do not interpret into treatment or what to buy at a garden center.
The test is easy to use, accurate and provides more than enough information to lay out a successful and cost effective treatment plan for a lawn and garden.
I am guessing that the reviewers either didn't let their samples completely dry, which will effect the results since you would actually be measuring the contents of the groundwater AND the soil, not the soil. Or they didn't pulverize the soil sample into dust, which it definitely should say on the instructions. You can't reliably extract the nutrients from chunks of dirt. I dried mine in the sun for a few hours then smashed them with a plain old spoon before putting them in the test tube. I can't give the kit 4 stars because of this. Also if you are submitting samples to get tested in a lab you have to virtually duplicate the sample. Same hole, same depth, or your results won't exactly match. also as the kit suggests you need to take multiple samples and average the results. I took 8 samples, 1 from each of my beds. These results were fairly consistent as I hadn't fertilized them in a while so the nutrients were back to the base levels found in my soils. I compared the pH and nutrients to levels reported by the local agriculture extension service for my area and soil type and they were consistent.
Finally, they claim you can do 80 tests with the kit. Yeah right, that would maybe be the total for all tests in the kit. You'll get more like 15 tests for each nutrient if you don't mess any up. So that's a definitely misleading, unless you know what they mean by 80 tests beforehand (which you can't until you get the actual kit). And for those who complain about getting moire of the solutions, it is plainly stated in the kit that more can be obtained by emailing them. So unless you did and they wouldn't supply them, you are wrong. Overall I don't think you can find a better and more thorough kit for them money. If you're really serious about matching what your results are with what the lab does, find a kit at one of the ag. supply website sand pay a LOT.
Tell the truth and give abundantly clear instructions and I will up my rating. Until then buyers need to read this before purchasing. IMHO :)
The use is straight forward. I found the instructions quite clear. Some people complain that the pump needs a lot of hand power to extract the liquid for the tests. Well, if you try to turn the tap while holding the pump at 90 degrees to the ground you will have hard time. I struggled myself at first. You need to hold the pump at 45 degree angle (and this is how it is recommended in the instruction). The air will be able to flow freely back and forth and the liquid will be extracted effortlessly. Then all you need is to add another reagent to this extracted liquid and compare the color to the color scheme provided. Very easy.
The instructions are fairly clear, but be sure to read through ALL of the testing instructions completely before starting to run any tests. The tests do take a little time to allow the sediment to settle before obtaining the actual liquid need for testing. This is a key point so make sure to let things settle enough once you have added the necessary chemicals for each specific test.
The results are fairly easy to read, but are generalized with a range of "high", "medium" and "low" for each chemical. The Ph test is more specific and gives a reasonable range to work with. Just take your time and it will work for all tests, Ph, nitrogen, potassium and potash.
Overall, I am very satisfied and am anxiously waiting for results from my more informed efforts to get a decent lawn.