At what point do you get a soil test?

So I’m getting a soil test done

Yup, after a bit of thought and being in two minds about the whole thing, I have taken a soil test and am waiting for the results to come back from the lab. I’ll discuss more about why I am getting one done later on in the post.

At what point do you start getting soil tested?

Back to the main point about this post, when do you decide to get a soil test done? I must first be clear that I’m not asking what time of the year to get it done that is something else to discuss at another time. But at what point of growing giant pumpkins do you go and get your soil tested by a lab?

Well that all really depends on you

That is something you will have to decide yourself and to start that decision making process you must figure out where you fit in the giant pumpkin growing spectrum. At one end you have the first time grower who has been given a seed or seedling to plant, next up is the family growing them for the children and have done so for a couple of years, either with the school or local community group.

Right at the other end of the scale would be the growers who read up on everything they can, talk to other growers around the world, get the best seed money can buy and do a lot of testing all to try and grow the biggest giant pumpkin they can. I’ll go out on a limb here and state that 95% of the growers here in NZ are at the lower end of the scale, and there is no problem with that at all, it is great to see everyone growing giant pumpkins.

A soil test can be done for anyone, you don’t need to be a big time farmer. You get some soil, submit it and tell them what you want it analysed for and you will get some results back. This will give you an idea of how your soil is and what you may need to correct with amendments. And it is your decision if you want to start going down that path, spending money on the test, trying to correct the soil and taking your giant pumpkin growing to a more technical level. Of course this may take the fun out of it for some people, it might make something fun way more technical then they want it to be. For others it may answer questions as to why things haven’t been growing to plan.

The great thing with giant pumpkin growing there is a lot of different ways of doing things, even if there is something that a lot of people do, over the years things can change so it is really up to you what you want to try and do.

Why am I getting a soil test done?

Well…. after a bit of thinking about the whole testing thing I decided as I will be growing here for a while in this location for the foreseeable future it would be beneficial to get a soil test done to see where the soil is at, a starting point if you will. The money spent now on the test should save me money later on without spending or applying stuff that is not needed. I’m unsure if I will be getting another soil test or foliar test done within the same season or I will just be using this first one as a starting point, a decision I will make later on in the season.

In an upcoming post I will show you my soil test results and discuss what I will be trying to fix, products I will use etc. Are you getting a soil test done? Let me know in the comments below and let me know what your hoping to get from it.

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