Gardening Review Questions And Answers

Questions and Answers on Gardening

Question #1

How to Test Soil For Magnesium Level

This question is in response to last month’s emailed gardening tip. You mentioned to make sure to do a soil test to see what your magnesium level is before adding any Epsom salt to outdoor plants. You said, “Without knowing your current magnesium levels, you shouldn’t apply Epsom salt at all to outdoor plants. Many areas have almost toxic proportions of magnesium present in the soil, and continually adding more will end up poisoning the plants and the soil.” That’s great, but how do I test for Magnesium levels?

Jim Trueman, UK

ANSWER:

Hi Jim! Great question. Since most home “do-it-yourself” soil testing kits only test for pH, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous, in order to find out your calcium and magnesium levels you’ll have to take a sample to a local soil testing lab. Every county has one, and the cost is usually around $10 (

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