Home Soil Test Kits – Are They Worth Your Time?

Garden centers occasionally sell home soil test kits, but are they accurate or are you better off sending your soil test sample to a soil lab?

Home Soil Test Kits

I want to talk today quickly about home soil test kits. I’ve got an email, someone was asking me about a kit and what I basically wanted to relay is that they are pretty useless.

You know the basic cheaper ones that you can find at the garden center, I’ve tried them myself, I’ve talked with people who tried them, they give widely varying results.

Basically, they’re pretty inaccurate, so if you want to get your soil tested for most of us it makes much more sense to go to a good soil lab. They have lots of good equipment and they’re gonna give you much better results plus recommendations.

So here is a link to my favorite soil testing labs.

There is one more thing. There is a pretty good kit from Lamotte. Last time I checked it was over six hundred dollars so I haven’t splurged for that one yet myself, but here is a link to that just so you can see what I am talking about.

But mostly, for home soil test kits they’re just not gonna give you good results. They’re gonna lead you on a wrong path.

Even professional soil labs, you know the results are not especially accurate there, but they’re good enough that we can get some recommendations on what we can do with our soil. Soil home test kits, I do not advise that you use those. Questions?


  1. Ben on February 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    G’day Phil, I take it these differ from a standard pH test kit? Just never heard of anything more advanced than a home pH test kit. For $600+ I’m thinking it does a lot more…Cheers Ben.  

    • Phil on February 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Ya, it has a bunch of different chemical solutions to measure individual nutrients in your soil.

  2. Geghis on October 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm


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