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on August 28, 2017
My garden bed wasn't the best.
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!)

Sprinkled it
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
11 comment| 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on September 19, 2012
I see other reviews on here talking about "send your soil in to a lab" or other alternatives to this product. Fact is, if you were willing to spend the money to send your soil to a lab, you probably wouldn't be buying this. Probably like you, I bought this because it's cheap and it'll give you a basic idea of what's going on in your garden. Here's how it works:

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
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on January 9, 2015
Most negative reviews say that pH and N test results are not good, where PH is always neutral and Nitrogen is always depleted, some have actually said that they tried even adding vinegar and pH would still be 7 and such. It is a cheap kit so I bought one, I tested my soil and guess what, I got pH neutral and N depleted, actually N test chamber was very clear without any color like fresh water.
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.
review image
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on February 6, 2012
I grew up on a farm and I've been gardening for over 50 years. When I was a child, we took soil samples to our county agent every few years and guessed during the years between samples. That was not often enough for NKP or PH. The County Agent's report covered 6 or 8 more things such as borax, aluminum, and calcium. Those things change very slowly and only need to be tested for only every 5 to 10 years. In the fifties and sixties, we just assumed the soil would need lime each year; it was acid. However, the amount we used was calculated by rule of thumb. Others used the taste test; tasting the soil to tell if it was sweet or sour; better than nothing but very distasteful when the fertilizer of choice is manure.

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!
1616 comments| 517 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on June 17, 2015
works fine if you are patient with the soil. needs time to dry before doing the test and works best if you wait overnight for the water to settle before you test it.
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on May 30, 2015
I purchased this to determine soil acidity for blueberry plants. It seems to get you in the ball park but is not perfectly precise. To use, you must gather some soil. Let it dry then remove any big pieces. Add soil to soil side of the container then open a small capsule of white powder and add it to the soil side of the container. Then you add water to the mix. Water should be distilled for best results (I did all of the above including using distilled water). Then you must compare the color of the water on the soil side to the color chart on the front of the small plastic container. At least for me, it was hard to determine if the color matched the 6.5 or 6, but this was good enough to tell me that I need to lower the PH for my blueberries which needed a 4.5 to 5.5 PH. I added soil acidifier to my blueberries and will test again soon. I would prefer to just stick a meter in the soil and read the PH but I bought this instead as it was much less expensive and once I get my blueberries going, I won't have much use for it again, so it has served my purpose.
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on June 6, 2016
Good product and a good value, but it's difficult to use. Unfortunately, all the apparatuses are very small. As a result, inserting the correct amount of soil and water is a hit-or-miss process. Even more difficult is getting the full contents of the capsules into the small opening. In fact, it's virtually impossible, as the capsules don't open easily. My recommendations are: 1) read the instructions carefully - only the small 1/4" chamber is used; 2) use in a well-lighted area, as the fill marks are difficult to see; 3) make sure you get exactly the right amount of soil - this is difficult with high organic content soils; 4) use an eye dropper to fill the chamber with water; and 5) open the capsules over a folded 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. That way you can recover any spilled chemicals.
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on March 17, 2013
This test was pretty accurate for the price. It is a color test so the accuracy is based on your ability to distinguish the colors. I use a $1500 pH meter in the lab and this kit was within 0.5 of the read. I would recommend this product.
0Comment| 93 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
I bought these to try to fix my garden soil after the town fixed a sinkhole from a collapsed drainage pipe. Although they backfilled the plot of land with clean top soil, I had my doubts as to its usefulness for gardening. This kit was exactly what I needed to ensure good soil for gardening. The four containers themselves are very useful to use for measurements. The charts provide a good comparison of color to know what is required of the soil. Upon following the directions closely (some of the tests require allowing a soil/water mixture to sit overnight), the colors after adding the tablets are bright and easy to distinguish values. After performing my tests, I had a great list of what fertilizers and amendments I needed to add to my soil to improve its quality. I would recommend this kit.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on February 20, 2018
Painfully ridiculous testing that is inaccurate. I can’t tell you how many hours of my life I wasted on this. I wish I would of read the reviews. I think it said amazons choice so I picked it. Take this scam off amazon. I took samples from 3 different raised garden beds, soil by my baby peach tree, and from the potted lime tree. Had to wait 24 hours for soil to settle after mixing with distilled water to put an 1/8 of a tsp in a slot the size of my pinky. Then try and pry those little capsules apart and get all the powder in that little hole before mixing. Then wait 10 more minutes before you can read your fake results. My dining room table looked like some drug dealers were hanging out at my place. Oddly enough all 5 had identical ph. Depleted nitrogen in all which I knew it was that time of year to refresh all my compost and soil anyhow, the purple test never registered any color whatsoever, k- potash was high. I don’t trust the results. Don’t waste your money or hours of your precious life.
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