Coastal areas in the UK are likely exposed to salt spray in the air and consequent salt accumulation in the ground. This can also occur away from coastal areas as a result of runoff from roads and pavements when they are de-iced with salt.
Soil salinity can be a problem when salts accumulate around plant roots in quantities that begin to hinder their ability to withdraw water from the soil, which in turn limits the amount of water available to them no matter how much water is actually there. Excess salt causes plants unsuited to such conditions to wilt, grow more slowly with smaller leaves and eventually die.
It is worth noting that salt can leach from soil quickly during periods of heavy rainfall so levels can vary between seasons. Soil texture - whether it is heavy clay or sandy or something in between - also influences the impact of salinity on vegetation. We round out the suite with a look at the soil pH, organic matter as well as a measure of three major plant nutrients.
The full list of elements in the Salinity Examination is as follows:
- Electrical Conductivity (measures salt content)
- Organic matter content
We will send you a testing kit that includes a labeled soil sample amber jar and instructions on how to take a sample from your growing space. When you're done, place the full jar back in the box that will have a pre-paid postage address label already affixed, seal it and pop the package into a Royal Mail post box or drop it off at a local post office.