When there are problems with plants or turf, it’s often our first instinct to water it more. But water might not be the problem at all.
Soil type, pH level and nutrients in the soil also play an important part in plant health and growth.
Knowing the make-up of your soil can prevent plant loss and other problems before they happen. Soil that’s too acidic or alkaline can impact nutrient solubility and the plants’ uptake of nutrients, causing the plant to get too much or too few nutrients. A pH range of about 6 to 7 typically promotes the best availability of plant nutrients, although some plants may be better suited in a more or less acidic environment.
Soil testing can tell you what nutrients you need to apply, and removes the guesswork when applying fertilizer, lime and other soil additives.
A soil test requires soil samples from the area you want tested. Using a soil sampler or soil probe to gather samples is faster and less disruptive to the landscape than digging. A soil probe can also help you receive more accurate test results by producing more uniform soil samples.
Once you have your soil sample, a lab can test it and provide the results and recommendations for amending the soil. Contact your local Ewing store for soil testing assistance in your area.
Soil Sampling Tips
- Take a soil sample before starting any new landscaping project
- Take samples of established landscapes once every 3-4 years
- Soil samples can be taken any time of the year, but just before planting is recommended (Late spring for warm-season grasses and late summer for cool-season grasses).
- For areas recently limed or fertilized, wait 6-8 weeks before taking a soil sample
- Use clean sampling equipment. Do not use brass, bronze, or galvanized tools, which can contaminate samples with copper or zinc.
This one-piece, 19-inch steel tube sampler with screw on tip extracts soil samples up to 15 inches deep. It’s built to withstand hard use in any soil type by professional landscapers, nurserymen, golf course superintendents, gardeners and growers. It can also be used make holes around plants for fertilizer applications, and to check soil texture, root growth and moisture.