How Important is Soil Testing

What it is and How it’s Done


nWhen’s the last time you tested your soil? If the answer is, what for, this article is for you. Soil testing is not only something that should be done, but it can help you better treat your lawn.

What is Soil Testing

Do you know the nutrient content and pH of your soil? This information is important for fertilizing your lawn—one of the foundations of proper lawn care. Different lawns have different soil types that require different fertilizers. Not knowing the type of soil can result in over-applying fertilizer and causing an imbalance in the soil and environment. Too much nitrogen from over fertilization can contaminate groundwater and waterways through runoff.

A soil’s pH is the measure of its alkalinity or acidity based on a scale from harsh acidity (0) to high alkalinity (14). The pH of a lawn’s soil should be in the neutral range of 6.0 to 7.5. Adjusting the pH of your soil may take years to reach neutral status, but it’s important for plant health.

How to Test Your Soil

Soil testing kits are available at lawn and garden stores or through private lawn care companies. To take a sample:

  1. Remove any grass or debris from the sample area.
  2. Place a trowel, shovel, soil probe, or sampling tube about four to six inches into the soil.
  3. Take about five to six samples from various areas of your lawn.
  4. Mix samples in a container until you have about one pint of soil.
  5. Spread soil over newspaper and let it dry for 24 hours.
  6. Label your sample and return to your garden center or lab.

Once you receive the results, you can choose the fertilizers that best adjust the levels of your lawn toward a neutral pH. For more information on soil testing and fertilizer recommendations, contact Cardinal Lawns.

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