Gardening success starts with this easy test

Why should we have our soil tested?

  • To know if our soil has nutrient deficiencies
  • To know if the ph level is within range. If it’s not then can’t take up nutrients
  • Help diagnose plant or lawn problems, Need a complete picture as possible when determining what is going on

While most of us are not going to test our entire yards or all our planting beds, but really should for your lawn, vegetable garden and rose or perennial gardens where plants are heavy feeders

What will a soil test tell us.  Based on UGA Extension Office test.

Test will determine the following levels

Ph level soil acidity

Phosphorous

Potassium

Calcium

Magnesium

Zinc

Maganese

Test will provide recommendations to improve the soil and bring it within needed ph range

 What the soil test will not tell us

  • Nitrogen level as this can change quickly steadily adding organic matter will provide nitrogen Adding compost topdress, mulch breaking down, creating sustainable environment for worms and micro organisms
  • Presence of disease, fungus or toxins

When and how often should I have my soil tested?

  • Can sample at any time, but want to allow enough time to get results, treat the soil and allow the recommended additives to work before the growing season begins Fall or early winter would be ideal, but still time to do it now.
  • Every two or three years should be sufficient unless you are having problems

A Few Notes

  • Get a good picture of your bed’s soil by combining soil from different areas
  • To avoid skewed results, don’t take samples from right next to you compost pile, or up against your foundation or any slabs of concrete.
  • Depth is important-4” deep for lawns, 6” deep for planting beds as this is depth of most feeder roots.
  • Use clean tools and bucket
  • UGA Extension Office has sites explaining the procedure