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Hobby gardeners and professionals alike know that keeping vegetables, grass, or ornamental plants healthy and happy is often not as simple as throwing seeds in the ground and hoping for the best. Understanding the nutritional make up of your soil can be an essential part of providing your plants with the best growing environment possible.
MySoil is a company offering detailed, personalized soil profiles for gardeners up and down the country. By taking soil samples provided by you, MySoil’s professional lab technicians can produce a detailed analysis of various nutritional measures currently available in your garden, as well as recommendations on how to boost essential nutrient levels or remedy deficiencies.
However, MySoil is not the only company on the market offering soil-testing solutions for gardeners keen to engineer the best growing conditions for their plants. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at what MySoil have to offer, how this stacks up against the competition, and how they might help you get the garden, lawn, or vegetable plot you’ve always wanted.
MySoil offer detailed soil analysis for gardeners of all experience levels. In addition to measuring the most commonly assessed nutrients of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, the MySoil test includes a number of other macro and micronutrient readings, including for Calcium, Copper, Zinc, Sodium, and more.
The company advertise themselves as offering the ideal soil-testing solution for both hobby gardeners and professionals, harnessing the power of their scientific lab to bring detailed, easy-to-understand soil analyses to yard owners and tradespeople alike.
They pride themselves on providing readable and accurate results, viewable by customers via their online dashboard, with a turn around of just 6-8 business days from the time that you post the sample to them.
When you order a soil testing pack from MySoil you will receive the necessary soil testing equipment in the post. You’ll also be provided with a prepaid, addressed envelope for sending your sample directly to their lab.
Following the instructions provided, you can take around 5 to 7 samples of soil from across your desired testing area. MySoil recommend taking samples from the surface down to a depth of around 6 inches. They also manufacture a MySoil testing probe that makes the process easier, though this unfortunately costs extra.
Once you have collected your samples from across the area you wish to have profiled, you mix these soil cores in the box provided, remove any large, non-soil material such as rocks or roots, then place the mixed sample into the designated sample container. Simply package the sealed container inside the pre-paid envelope and post everything to their lab, making sure to register your pack online prior to doing so.
Your results should be available roughly a week later, at which point you will be able to view your detailed soil analyses via your MySoil online profile and dashboard. You will need to create a free account with the company in order to access this.
Along with detailed nutrient levels and pH readings, MySoil’s dashboard can also direct you towards recommended fertilizer products along with recommended application rates to help you remedy any deficiencies.
Your online profile also allows you to save sample profiles, helping hobby gardeners track their soil’s improvement over time. This also allows professional gardeners to keep soil profiles for different clients under one database.
In a crowded market of over-the-counter soil testing kits, as well as lab-based soil testing services, MySoil claim that their methods for measuring soil nutrients are more accurate than many conventional approaches.
Rather than taking flat readings of nutrient presence, the MySoil lab aims to measure how much of each crucial nutrient is actually available to the plants you are hoping to grow. They then balance this alongside plant uptake demands during important growth stages to provide you with tailored recommendations.
The range and accuracy of data provided by MySoil is likely to far exceed the vast majority of over-the-counter solutions. For those looking for professional-grade soil profiling that covers more than just pH and the three primary nutrients, MySoil may well be worth the investment.
MySoil can also offer attractive services to professional gardeners and landscapers. They can provide testing packs suited to small businesses, along with ‘white label’ reports that companies can attach their own logo to. In this way, businesses can offer clients lab-based soil testing as part of their service without needing to invest in the significant infrastructure and equipment needed to carry out such testing themselves.
Professional gardeners can also use the online dashboard to monitor and track all their various clients’ soil profiles simultaneously.
For non-professionals, MySoil pride themselves on offering easy-to-understand analyses that don’t presume any extensive prior knowledge of how plants and nutrients interact. Their reports are designed to educate and inform hobbyists, helping to develop better general awareness around soil health and plot nurturing.
The company also claim to promote environmentally friendly practices and products.
If you are looking to test numerous areas in a garden, especially across larger plots, you may need to order more than one testing kit from MySoil. Similarly, if you find there are different spots in your yard that are resulting in markedly different yields, and you wish to test each of these areas for nutrient discrepancies, you will need to invest in more than one kit. A single kit will not suffice, since the mixture of the soil from each distinct area will result in an unhelpful, combined reading. At $29.99 a single use pack, this cost could soon add up.
Furthermore, the MySoil testing probe recommended for taking appropriate samples is not included as part of this price. It can be bundled together with a kit for an additional $35, or bought separately for $40.
MySoil are keen to promote their environmentally friendly approach to soil improvement and landscaping. That being said, the company are less than clear about how exactly they are helping the gardening community create eco-friendly spaces.
Though many of the products they recommend are organic, they also appear to promote a range of synthetic products that environmentalists may well wish to avoid. Though it’s possible to set your gardening and product preferences via the dashboard, the company’s willingness to advertise non-organic, chemical fertilizers may dissuade some from trusting MySoil’s recommendations in the first place.
As soil testing technology becomes increasingly affordable and available, the range of products and companies advertising detailed, accurate soil profiling services to gardeners is also getting wider.
Hobbyists and professionals can choose from a whole range of soil testing kits, from budget, over-the-counter options to lab-grade reports. Over-the-counter solutions usually provide a limited set of measurements – commonly nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and pH – via strip-test color grades. Whilst these may provide a rough indication of nutrients present in the soil, MySoil is likely to provide far more detailed and accurate analysis.
There are other companies offering lab-based soil testing as well. Soil Savvy are one such organization. On the surface, they appear to offer a similar product to that advertised by MySoil, with detailed soil profiles covering a range of micro and macro nutrients. Some users have, however, noted that Soil Savvy’s reports are not as user-friendly as the MySoil dashboard.
For hobby gardeners, MySoil is currently selling single testing kits for $29.99 on Amazon. A package that includes the recommended soil probe is currently $64.99.
Professional gardeners can choose from a range of options. A basic 12-kit bundle costs $299.99, compacted down to help you save space. MySoil also offer larger, custom branded packs so that companies can formally offer soil testing as part of their own service package. These extend in price up to $1709.99 for 72 tests. Business customers are also offered faster lab-turn arounds.