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Soil Testing Garden Science

Being curious and the experimenting type we did some soil testing in our backyard this year when planning our garden. When you are working in the garden, and hoping and working hard for all your vegetables to grow, you also have to consider what else they might need, maybe your soil isn’t as great as it could be.

DIY Soil Testing Garden Science Experiment

Soil Testing Garden Science

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For the first part of our testing, we started by using a soil test that we bought from a store, you can most likely find them at any garden center, or on Amazon. They really don’t cost a lot, usually under $8 from what we have seen.

Soil Testing Garden Science Experiment

With the store-bought test, it really is as simple as following the instructions on the package. The first part was testing the pH of the soil, which was over and done within minutes.

For the other three tests, you had to mix water with your soil and then let it sit for 10 minutes.

DIY Soil Testing Garden Science Experiment

For the second part of our soil testing, we did a DIY method that we basically just made up. We already had some pH testing strips (for our fish tank) and wondered if they would also work for our dirt.

DIY Soil Testing Garden Science Experiment

Letting little fingers do the pH strip test didn’t leave us too sure of how well it worked on the first strip. Letting it re-settle helped for the second strip, and we could see the color change, but it wasn’t a huge difference, and quite close to neutral as the store-bought test seemed to be.

I hope that my in-laws will be visiting this summer and will perhaps bring us a little Nova Scotia soil so we can redo this with that dirt and compare. And yes, I am actually hoping that my in-laws visit this summer and not just for the hope of dirt, can you imagine?

My oldest has now been “experimenting” with dirt and water on her own while outside playing. I love how one thing can spark explorations of other kinds.

Do you take science outside? There is a lot to be learned out there, starting with soil testing.

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