One of the easiest and best ways to find out all the information you need about the health of your soil is to have it tested by a local authority. With a soil test, you will learn about your soil’s average pH, salt levels, textural makeup, and level of nutrients to support plants. If you are going to grow anything in your soil, you need to know this essential information. A soil test can help you determine the best plants for your yard as well as learn why certain plants may not be thriving in your area.
A soil test is actually very easy to do. The lab you choose will send you a kit with instructions; you simply take samples of your soil and send it off for testing. What may be a bit more difficult is deciding where on your property to test. You want to test any area where you are interested in growing grass, shrubs, or other plants, but you may want to test several areas since soil can change drastically from one location to another. A good rule of thumb is to test general areas where groups or types of plants are to be grown: flower beds, lawns, and arbors of trees are good examples of grouping. If your lab suggests mixing these samples, you can take core samples from each area and mix them equally, then prepare your overall sample from the mixture. Otherwise, you may want each sample tested separately.
Once the samples have been collected, dried, and packaged, they are sent to an agricultural testing lab or a Cooperative Extension office for testing. Most labs will not test for nitrogen, since it does not remain in the soil for extended periods of time. However, they can test for many other factors, including:
If you are interested in learning more about soil testing, contact Juniper Landscape Company today. We are happy to help our clients learn more about their soil and choose plants that will thrive in any conditions!