Saturday, 24 May 2014

Soil Testing and modern products

Soil testing and modern products

Every now and then you need a little reminder as to why you are doing what you are doing. In this case I am reminded of why I want a simpler life, why I am happy to earn less money and change my lifestyle.

I bought a soil tester like this:

It was cheap and simple and measured the moisture content and PH of the soil as well as light levels. I didn't need accurate readings just a rough reading would have been OK. It read the PH levels of everything as 1 or 2, the moisture content reading always read dry or slightly damp and the light level was either no light or full light. Totally useless and unfit for purpose. It was cheap and I threw it away and thought I need to spend more.

I then bought a better one:

This one read the PH level of every soil (compost, manure, clay) I have as level 5. This was wrong. I know that commercial compost is 7 and I know a company that makes compost and they have theirs tester and it is always between 7 and 7.2. The tester read theirs as 5 as well. Too inaccurate to be usable and had I taken the word of this tester I would have ended up adding things to my soil unnecessarily. The temperature readings were OK as was the light levels. The moisture reading was also OK. I could live with the PH bit not working but on about the 10th soil test I pulled out the probe only to find the tip had broken off and stuck in the ground. Cheap rubbish. It broke on the day I bought it because the tip of the probe was glued on very poorly. This one will be sent back.

I also bought a chemical soil testing kit to test PH, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus:

I followed the instructions to the letter. The PH read high but not way out. This reading I could live with. The other tests for PNK all read either zero or very very low. I even tested it on tomato fertilizer and got the same results. I did various things to get a better reading such as mix the soil sample better, leave it longer than the instructions said and still got no answer. This kit was useless. It certainly doesn't do what it says it does under the conditions it says.

Then yesterday I bought a circular saw to help me lift floor boards and that was broken when I took it out of the box, not only was it broken the worst thing about it, and it came from B & Q in Skegness, was that clearly it was a customer returned unit as the saw had already been fitted and had been restocked on the shelf by someone who had obviously looked at it and decided it was OK. Clearly the staff there can't be bothered or aren't capable of visually inspecting something like this to see if it is OK to resell or more importantly safe enough to resell. A fixing on the saw was loose which will cause the saw blade to wobble about.

The last 4 things I have bought in the last week all either faulty, utter rubbish or simply not fit for purpose.

Modern products and companies are clearly there not to provide a service but purely to extract money from us. Not only is society using too much energy, but we are also using the energy to produce things that are not usable, not helpful and not fit for purpose.

Makes me wonder why I buy them. So much of life is like this which is why I have realised that I don't need to work so many hours to buy this stuff. If I earn less, and remember not to buy this stuff, I lose nothing financially but I end up with more time to enjoy life.  

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