Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash, 1 Pack
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- Quick, at home results for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphrous and Potash
- Innovative and inexpensive soil test kit features an easy-to-use capsule system and patented color comparators
- Contains all components needed for 40 tests. 10 for each of pH, N, P and K
- Simple, detailed instructions included. Great for beginners and experienced gardeners alike.
- Soil pH preference list for over 450 plants included
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From the manufacturer
Why Test Your Soil?
Plants need food (nutrients) for healthy growth. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash (N, P and K), play a vital role in plant growth just as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and protein do in our health.
How to Test Your Soil
For gardeners already familiar with soil testing, you'll appreciate the unique, patented, specially designed "color comparator" and capsule system, that make quick work of testing. For those of you new to soil testing, you will appreciate this easy, fast and fun way to achieve better growing results from your gardening efforts!
Everything is color-coded, including the color comparator films and capsules. All you do is take a sample of soil, mix with water, transfer some of the solution to the color comparator, add powder from capsule, shake and watch the color develop. Then, note your test results. Fast, easy and it only takes a few minutes!
When To Test Your Soil
Soil should be tested periodically throughout the growing season, but it is especially recommended to test before planting in the Spring and when preparing beds in Fall.
Included in the Kit:
- 4 Color Comparators
- Eye dropper for easy solution transfer
- 40 test capsules - 10 for each of pH, N, P, K
- Complete instructions and Fertilization guidelines
- pH preference list for over 450 plants
N - Nitrogen
Nitrogen is synonymous with plant nutrition. It is directly responsible for producing leaf growth and green leaves. A deficiency causes yellow leaves and stunted growth. Too much nitrogen causes overabundant foliage with delayed flowering; the plant becomes subject to disease and its fruit is of poor quality.
P - Phosphorus
Growing plants need phosphorus. It is the major constituent of plant genetics and seed development. A deficiency causes stunted growth and seed sterility. Phosphorus aids plant maturity, increases the seed yield, increases fruit development, increases vitamin content and aids the plant's resistance to disease and winterkill.
K - Potash
Potash strengthens the plant. It helps form carbohydrates and promotes protein synthesis. It will improve the color and flavor of fruit. It further aids early growth, stem strength and cold hardiness. Plants deficient in potash are usually stunted and have poorly developed root systems. Leaves are spotted, curled and appear dried out at the edges. Yields for potash deficiency are low.
pH - Acidity / Alkalinity
Plants also need the correct pH level which controls how well plants utilize the nutrients available in your soil. All plants have a pH preference, so it is important to know the pH level of your soil. You can then choose plants with the same pH preference, avoid those that will not do well in your soil or know how to go about supplying their special growing needs. By testing your soil, you determine its exact condition so that you can fertilize and/or adjust pH more accurately, effectively, and economically.
Compare with similar items
It’s vital to know the existing pH, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potash (K) levels in garden soil. The rapitest Soil Test Kit continues to be the standard for home soil testing. The kit includes all components needed to for (40) tests: (10) each for pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash. The patented color comparator system allows for easy color comparisons versus a typical printed color chart. Extensive, yet simple, instructions are included along with recommendations for over 400 plants. Test results allow the gardener the amend and fertilize appropriately, ensuring the best possible results
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Just to give you some background on me and why I can support that claim- I am an Environmental scientist and hopefully soon to be Professional Soil Scientist (once I pass some exams). So this is why I say it’s pretty accurate. I tested my yard and flower beds. Because of my profession, I have access to a soil probe. I took multiple samples across the yard between 6-12” deep and submitted that as 1 composite sample and did the same for my flower beds. I submitted these samples to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension (i’m In Houston, Tx) and I just got results back. (They are very affordable and will even consult with you about results)
First, let me tell you what this test kit told me.
It told me my Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorous (P) is depleted, I maxed out on the Potassium (K) and my pH was at maximum of at least 7.5.
My actual soil results confirmed I have 0 ppm Nitrate-N, very little P at 5 ppm, K reported at 108 ppm but does not exceed the “high” or Critical Level and my pH is at 8.0.
I would say that considering how cheap this kit is, it was pretty accurate certainly gave me enough information to steer me in the right direction.
Now I just need to apply my hard earned knowledge in Soil Fertility to real life, instead of just theory. =) I hope this information helped someone feel More confident in using this kit.
*Update- I passed one of my exams and am now a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Had to brag on myself I’m so excited, yay me!
So I bought myself this test.
Took some dirt from the ground.
Swirled it all around
To find that
Nitrogen was what I lacking
Which, of course, sent me packing
To my home improvement store
I bought some blood meal
(It was on sale, what a deal!)
atop my soil
Nothing for days
Blood starts to boil
Then suddenly, my plants start to grow
Basil, tomato, zucchini, and carrot
So I highly recommend
You won't regret it
So I done another test, only adding a few drops of lemon juice to the pH test chamber, and a solution of uria (48-0-0) to the N test chamber instead of soil water, and after some good shaking, the pH was yellow and the N was purpule, I have attached a picture and you can see for yourself.
When this test kit tells you the pH is neutral it really is, and when it tells you have no nitrogen you really don't, and you better be spraying a whole lot of it till you get it to "adequate" level.
Top international reviews
Instructions provided with this test kit are very detailed and require pretty thorough preparation that might take a full day (ie it's not quick). You have to be very precise with quantities and the soil has to be prepared properly for testing as well as during testing itself. A single missed instruction may compromise your test results (like ensuring that pH test has time to settle but nutrient tests are shaken up with flakes suspended in liquid). Emptying little capsules of test powder require real finesse as well. Precision is the name of the game here, and it's significantly harder than using a test strip or a pH meter with two metal probes.
Now, I actually enjoyed chemistry experiments in school and have a very detail-oriented mind. I found this process interesting but quite cumbersome. It also comes with 5 capsules for each nutrient (and 10 for pH) and refills aren't easy to find. The digital aspect of this test is also a bit of a joke. There is a while LED in the tester with a sensor on the other side. Readings are pretty stable from test to test, but maximum PH this reader measures is 7.5 and you have no idea if you're at 7.3 or much higher than 7.5. My digital tester with two metal probes measured between 7.2 and 7.8 around different points of the yard, but the tester just showed a 7.5 reading.
All-in-all this is both too gimmicky and cumbersome for my taste. It does seem to work, but I haven't compared test results to a real lab. That's why I rated it "just Okay". I think your money would be better spent on the test strip test like Rapitest 1601 instead of this one though.