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7 Best Soil Test Kits for Your Garden

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best soil test kit

As a gardener, you need to ensure that your outdoor space has an ample supply of sunlight, moisture, and nutritious soil, the holy trinity needed for plant growth. While sunlight is more of an external factor that can only be regulated in terms of shade or where you plant the seed, moisture and nutrients can be adjusted as required.

Nutrient levels depend not just on what you put into the soil but also on what the inherent quality of the soil is. And to know that, you need to perform soil tests.

Now, there is always the option of having a professional test the soil of your backyard by taking a soil sample to one. However, for more economical and convenient testing, you can buy soil testing kits to do so on your own.

Here is a list of the 7 best soil test kits for you to purchase with an elaborate analysis of their features. For a quick buy, select one from the list below.

At a Glance: Our Top 7 Picks for The Soil Test Kits

  1. Luster Leaf 1663 Professional Soil Test Kit
  2. Luster Leaf Rapitest 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit
  3. My Soil – Soil Test Kit
  4. Sonkir Soil pH Meter
  5. Soil Savvy – Soil Test Kit
  6. Soil Kit
  7. Cipamnel Soil pH Test Kit

Not sure about which one you should buy? Don’t worry. Our detailed reviews will explain and then convince you. Read on to find out more about each of the above soil testing kits.

Detailed Reviews for the Best Soil Test Kits

1. Luster Leaf 1663 Professional Soil Test Kit

Luster Leaf 1663 Professional Soil Test Kit
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Key Features

  • Chemical testing kit
  • Tests N, P, K as well as pH

Luster Leaf’s professional soil testing kit contains enough chemical components for conducting as many as 80 tests. You will be able to measure both the pH of the soil as well as the NPK levels, a.k.a. nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels of the soil.

The kit provides comprehensive instructions along with handy tips to make your soil healthier once you find out what the balance of nutrients in the soil is. There is also a pH preference list for several plants included in the package. This will help you find the best pH and soil conditions for your garden, specific to the needs of what you have planted in there.

For the convenience of storage and transport, the vials and tubes come in a hard case made out of plastic. This ensures that the glass vials do not get damaged accidentally.

In order to obtain better results, you should take as many as 8 measurements and calculate their average. Also, it is advisable to dry the soil sample and then pulverize it to a powdered form, as this will help you acquire accurate readings.

What We Liked

  • Can be used to perform several tests
  • Comes with a plastic case to carry it in
  • Detailed instructions in the manual
  • pH preference list for several plants included
  • Easy to use

What We Didn’t Like

  • Test powders and liquids lose their potency after 1 year
  • Doesn’t test micronutrients

See also: How and When to Plant a Garden

2. Luster Leaf Rapitest 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit

Luster Leaf Rapitest 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit
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Key Features

  • Digital testing kit
  • Push-button test results

This kit is the digital variant of the popular Rapitest Soil Test Kit by Luster Leaf. It gives you quick and reliable results right at the comfort of your home. 

In chemical test kits, you need to interpret the color variations that appear and this can result in some human errors. On the other hand, if you use digital kits such as this, the scope for error is markedly reduced as the machine itself interprets and displays the result for you.

When you exhaust the test tubes and capsules supplied with the kit, you can always get refills in the market. This way, you won’t need to purchase a new kit as often as you would expect. Just make sure to keep the digital display and reader free of dust and contamination.

The Luster Leaf Rapitest Digital Soil Tester makes use of highly advanced LED technology as well as a digitally calibrated system to read test colors and obtain accurate results. The instructions are easy enough to follow. When you slide the test tubes in the optical chamber, you simply need to push a dedicated button and the display shows the results. Quick and easy, right?

For more gardening and soil-related guidance, the kit includes a pH preference list for over 450 plants and also has one booklet that guides DIY gardeners about fertilizer usage.

What We Liked

  • Has 25 capsules, sufficient to test 10 pH samples and 5 each for N, P, K
  • Comes with a dropper to transfer the solution into the test tubes conveniently
  • Nutrient-specific push-button for quick test results
  • Included batteries, pH preference list, and fertilizer recommendations
  • Easy-to-follow instructions

What We Didn’t Like

  • Micronutrient testing not possible

Bonus Read: 12 Amazing Gardening Gifts

3. My Soil – Soil Test Kit

My Soil - Soil Test Kit
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Key Features

  • Samples tested by professionals
  • Tests for 12 minerals and pH of the soil

My Soil Test Kit is ideal for those who want nothing short of the most accurate and precise results of the quality of their garden soil. 

The sample is supposed to be measured in the included scoop and mailed back to the company. Upon receiving the sample, the company tests it and publishes the results on their website from where you can easily access them. The best part is you get prepaid postage for sending the sample.

Online results also provide you with organic and synthetic fertilizer recommendations for your soil conditions. Also, there are 13 plant available nutrient levels specified including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, as well as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

My Soil Test Kit is ideal for testing lawns, organic gardens, and ornamental landscapes. You get instructions for collecting the sample and sending it in, which makes soil testing as easy as pie.

What We Liked

  • Instructions are simple to follow
  • Return mailing envelope is prepaid
  • Soil is tested by gardening professionals for accurate results
  • Fertilizer recommendations provided along with test results

What We Didn’t Like

  • One test kit is only good for testing one soil sample

Lawn care enthusiast in the house? You might be interested in reading more about the 10 Best String Trimmer Head Reviews and Top Picks.

4. Sonkir Soil pH Meter

Sonkir Soil pH Meter
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Key Features

  • Analog soil tester
  • Tests pH, moisture, and sunlight level of the soil

If you want to test the three most important parameters that determine optimum plant growth in the soil of your garden, this is the best soil test kit for you.

It has three dedicated sensors for the three parameters. And a simple toggle switch allows you to select whichever of the three you want to test. The analog meter has calibrated tables for pH, light, and moisture, and the needle points to the correct reading for the selected option.

Assembling the kit is simple enough, as is using it. Stick the end of the rod into the soil and select the right option and the kit does the rest of the job. An important thing to remember is to use the meter on slightly moist soils only.

You’ll be pleased to find that the test kit does not require any external power source, not even a battery, to function. Also, the frame of the kit is designed to be lightweight and easily portable while also being durable at the same time.

What We Liked

  • Simple toggle switch operation
  • Sturdy construction 
  • Easy to put together and use
  • Does not require batteries or any other power source to work
  • Handy and lightweight design

What We Didn’t Like

  • Takes up to 5 to 10 minutes to give pH and moisture readings

You might like to read: 10 Best Rabbit Repellent Reviews

5. Soil Savvy – Soil Test Kit

Soil Savvy - Soil Test Kit
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Key Features

  • Mail-in test kit
  • Provides nutrient analysis for macro as well as micronutrients

Soil Savvy is a great option among the best soil test kits as it is convenient to use and gives exact results. It is another one of the popular mail-in soil testers and comes with a pre-paid envelope in which you need to send the sample.

The sample is collected with the help of the scoop included with the kit, put into a jar, and mailed to the manufacturer. Subsequently, they will test the soil sample and send the obtained results via mail. Or else, you can check them on Soil Savvy’s website where the results will be published in a week or two.

Speaking of the features of the tester, this kit offers both micro- as well as macronutrient testing. What’s more, the test results obtained are further broken down into smaller components for a better understanding of the nutrient levels in your garden soil. For instance, while measuring the nitrogen levels, the test results will also show you the levels of nitrates as well as that of ammonia.

Additionally, the kit provides you with suggestions to help alter the composition of your soil in a productive way. Fertilizer information is also provided, along with a guide to finding the right mix of organic and synthetic fertilizers.

Lastly, the kit measures and provides an analysis of the most common micronutrients necessary for plant development. This is in addition to pH and macronutrient testing. All in all, if you want a comprehensive test kit, you can go for this one by Soil Savvy.

What We Liked

  • Suitable for micro as well as macronutrient testing
  • Instructions are simple enough to follow
  • Provides fertilizer recommendations suited to your needs
  • Shows levels of up to 14 nutrients in the soil

What We Didn’t Like

  • Results take almost two weeks to get published

Also read: Best Hydroponic Herb Gardens

6. Soil Kit

Soil Kit
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Key Features

  • Mail-in testing kit
  • Measures pH, N, P, K, and micronutrients

This kit from Soil Kit measures pH, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, as well as select micronutrients. You will get a paper collection bag, a detailed instruction card, and a pre-paid return envelope. All you need to do is simply collect the soil sample and mail it back to the manufacturer. Within one week, you will receive the results.

Additionally, you will receive detailed descriptions of the tested areas and suggestions to improve the soil quality of your garden. This will help you decide what would be best for the vegetation you have growing there.

The kit can be used to test lawns, gardens, and wildlife plots. It tests soil for pH, N, P, K, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron and can test an area of up to 10000 square feet. As such, it is one of the best soil test kits for testing the most essential nutrients in your soil at an affordable price.

What We Liked

  • Easy collection, sampling, and results
  • Instructions are straightforward and simple to follow
  • Covers an area of up to 10000 square feet
  • Tests macro as well as micronutrients in the soil
  • Included scoop and pre-paid return mailing envelope

What We Didn’t Like

  • Lab results may take up to a week or more to arrive

7. Cipamnel Soil pH Test Kit

Cipamnel Soil pH Test Kit
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Key Features

  • Soil moisture, pH, sunlight testing kit
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor plants

A simple and straightforward test kit, this one by Cipamnel will make soil testing seem effortless to even amateur gardeners. Plus, this analog tester does not require any batteries. Simply inserting the ends of the sensor probe 2 to 4 inches into the soil will do the trick.

Moving along, using the gadget is not a complicated task and can be operated even by novices with the utmost ease. There is a display with contrasting white scales on a black background to make for clear reading.

Cipamnel’s soil test kit measures the three most prominent components of gardening and healthy plant growth. These are sunlight, pH, and moisture. All three can be measured separately using the toggle switch located at the head of the device. 

Even better, it makes use of double-needle detection technology to measure the three variables with precision and simplicity.

What We Liked

  • Compact and light enough to carry around hassle-free
  • 3-in-1 function measures pH, light, and moisture
  • Clear display
  • No need to use batteries
  • Fast and fairly accurate results

What We Didn’t Like

  • Might not be too durable

Conclusion

Measuring the quality of the soil in your garden is key to understanding what your plants are getting in terms of nutrition and what they should be getting. It sounds complicated but it isn’t.

There are several ways to get your soil tested. One is by using chemical soil testers, another is to use digital testers. Besides these, you can also use analog soil testers. And if nothing seems feasible, you can take the help of professionals to test your soil for you. This can be done by using the mail-in soil test kits as mentioned among the reviewed products in this guide.

Whatever type you choose, make sure to apply the information provided in the manual or in the published results to adjust the nutrient and pH levels of your soil. This will leave you with a fully blooming garden in no time.

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