Paulding SWCD now offers soil testing for homeowners.
A soil test for homeowners help to provide information on available nutrients and soil fertility. The results of soil tests can guide homeowners on selecting the right plants for their yard. Soil tests can be a great tool for plant diagnositics.
What is a soil test?
A soil test is a process by which organic matter, phosphorus, potassium, clacium, magnesium, soil pH, Buffer pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), and % cation (base) saturation measured for their plant available content within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the kind and amount of fertilizer that is recommeded.
THE VALUE OF HEALTHY SOIL
We are all connected to the soil! Soil may seem sterile, but it is actually teeming with life! A teaspoon of soil can actually contain more microorganisms than there are people on earth!
Fertile soil is essential for growing and maintaining plants, and your lawn is no different. Soil testing is often overlooked by homeowners, but knowing what nutrients are available to your plants is an important first step in establishing a sustainable landscape. Nutrient testing is a key part, and Organic Matter is an indicator of soil health, but proper soil management is also key.
WHY SOIL TEST?
Soil is the foundation of healthy lawn or a productive garden. Learning how soil quality affects plants/grass will have you on your way to having a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood or a productive garden! Soil tests are important for several reasons:
- To optimize plant production
- To protect the environment from contamination by runoff and leaching of excess fertilizers.
- To aid in the diagnosis of plant culture problems.
- To improve the nutritional balance of the growing media.
- To save money and conserve energy by applying only the amount of fertilizer needed. (ag.umass.edu)
wHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SOIL TEST?
Soil samples can be taken at any time of the year. However, it is recommended to be consistent from test to test. This will help eliminate the question as to whether or not a variation does exist in a particular soil. Soil tests are recommended every 3-5 years.
sOIL TEST OPTIONS
Take the hassle out of soil testing! Paulding SWCD staff will come to your site, correctly pull soil samples and submit samples to A&L Great Lakes Laboratories.
Soil tests through the Paulding SWCD office are $50/sample plus the cost of the test you choose:
- Level 1: Nutrient Levels ONLY – $8.75/sample.
- Level 2: Nutrient levels & recommendations – $9.75/sample.
- Level 3: Nutrient Levels, Soil Needs, product recommendations, how much, and when to apply. Lawn & garden samples only. – $25/sample.
A&L Great Lakes Laboratories, Inc. is an independently owned and operated agricultural testing laboratory since 2002. The lab is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.