Test Procedures

  1. Use a soil test kit to test for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and pH.
  2. Find the instruction booklet inside your test kit.
    Follow directions given in the soil test kit for the following test:

    pH Phosphorus test
    Nitrogen test Potash (potassium) test

  3. Record your results on Data Table 1

    Data Table 1
    Soil Test Results
    Sampling ID __________________________
    Date of collection ____________________
    Soil pH _____________



    1. In which of the primary nutrients was your soil sample most deficient?
    2. If you grew a plant in this soil (without adding fertilizer) what problems would the plant likely show?
    3. Did your soil sample have a pH that was alkaline, acid, or neutral?
    4. Potatoes grow well in soil whose pH is 4.8-5.4 If your soil had no nutrient deficiencies could it be used to grow potatoes?
    5. Once the pH is known use the Lime-Alum Tables included in your soil test kit to determine amount of lime or alum necessary to properly adjust the soil pH.
    6. Examine the results of all tests run in the class. What primary nutrient was the most often deficient in the soil samples?
    7. Design an experiment to determine how a deficiency of one nutrient would affect plant growth.
    8. Use the Plant Preference List to make a list of plants that will most likely grow well in your soil.
    9. Use the Fertilizer Recommendation Table included in your test soil kit to determine how much fertilizer should be added to achieve optimum soil conditions.