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Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Soil Test Kit
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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.
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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You get 4 vials, one for soil pH, and one each for Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Essentially, you place the directed amount of soil/water mixture into each vial, and add the contents of the corresponding color-coded capsule. The capsules look like pills, the type you can pull apart and the contents spill out. After you empty the capsule into the vial, you place the rubber cap on the vial, shake and let it sit for the specified amount of time. All the quantities and times are clearly listed in the manual. Each vial has a color chart that is near your soil sample window which allows you to compare the color to the chart. This is how you know where your soil stands as far as pH, N, P and K.
I've seen some reviews on here saying it's "impossible" to empty the capsules into the vials because they're too small. True, they're small but if you twist them and carefully pull them apart over the vial it's really pretty easy. If you're elderly or have trouble holding your hands still (or you're just spastic), it might be a task for you but it's still doable. It's really not very difficult.
I've tested my soil maybe 10 times using this product, and it's never let me down. It doesn't give you an exact number or anything, but any time I've shown low on something, I amended the soil and a few days later it tested fine and the plants looked healthier.
It's not extremely precise, but it's reliable and it will definitely tell you if there is something dangerously askew in your garden. My suggestion to the guy that only uses the lab is that either he got a defective one, or he's not cleaning them properly after each use.
You should clean them with water thoroughly after each use and don't mix them up. You don't want to use the pH vial for the K test, or any other variant. Keep them clean, follow the directions and don't mix and match.
My only complaint is that the vials can be knocked over easily as they have an oddly poor center of gravity. Once the cap is on, who cares. But, when you're filling them or trying to empty the capsule into them, it's pretty easy to knock them over and that's just a big bag of bollox.
Anyhow, to sum up, for the money, this product can really, really help. If you're looking for something more precise then spend some more money or send to a lab like the other guy said. If you just want to make sure everything is generally good in your garden, this will probably suit you just fine.
Hope this helps
If you do no other tests, do this one! PH controls whether or not a plant can take up nutrients. All the fertilizer in the world will not help, if the PH is wrong. I purchased the full test set as well as this one so that I could do more frequent PH tests and in more places such as around shrubs, bushes, and trees, especially fruiting trees and bushes. I have been using these products for at least 20 years. This purchase was just to renew my supply. I can usually go 2 or3 years with a full Luster Leaf set plus an extra PH test set. Buy and use it!. It will save you money on fertilizer and you can have the best garden in the neighborhood!
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.