James Mitchell

For homeowners in America who take landscape maintenance seriously, a soil test should not be ignored. Unfortunately, many homeowners have not even heard of the phrase and may be unwilling to spend for it.

Today, lawn care fertilization and lawn landscape maintenance programs incorporate soil analysis. Successful soil testing programs are facilitating the better growth of turf, trees, and other plants.

Soil 101

There is more to the dirt in the garden than meets the eye. What we usually dismiss as “earth” or “soil” is an amalgamation of organic matter, minerals, water, and air. Most plants will not survive without soil to anchor to; without soil to provide essential chemical compounds for survival and reproduction.

Cultivating the soil is often necessary because the dirt in the garden may have a diminished content of a specific nutrient. The reality is that most soils are not ready to sustain healthy growth just as they are. They need something more. How will you know what it needs if there is no clear indication of what it lacks?

Soil Testing

Testing for the condition of the soil is a year-round task for professional lawn care personnel. The best time for testing is spring while preparing the soil for new growth.

The result of testing offers a comprehensive picture of the nutrient content and pH level of the soil. The laboratory prioritizes testing for nutrients essential for plant growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Results may also reveal the amount of organic material in the soil and the specific type of soil in your property. Commercial and over-the-counter testing kits are available.

However, if you see poor growth and sickly plants and shrubs, you should consider requesting a local state university or a commercial laboratory for a comprehensive soil test.

Is there a need to reduce the acidity of the soil? Do you have to augment a lack of potassium? These are important questions and soil testing can provide a definite answer. This is a good time to call for the services of garden care professionals.

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