Plants are pretty straight-forward organisms. They need the sun to grow, water to drink, oxygen to breathe, and enough nutrients to help them eat. But what happens when you’re doing all of these things and your plant still isn’t growing? The chances are, you probably need to do a soil test to find out. It might sound serious, but it’s not all that involved. Here’s what you need to do and know if you think it might be time for a soil test.
How Often Should You Test Your Soil?
You can test your soil anytime, really. But we recommend doing one every three years or so. It’s also a good idea to test your soil if you’ve moved into a new home and aren’t familiar with the ground around you. If you’re looking to expand your garden or start a totally new one – knowing what kind of soil you’re dealing with is important as well.
In sum – it’s a good time to test whenever:
- You know you haven’t in a long time;
- Anytime you’re assuming control of a piece of property.
- Anytime you’re planning on a major project in your yard that will involve using dirt.
When is the Best Time to Test Soil?
If you think there’s a problem, then we recommend that you test as soon as you can. Grab a test from your local store and get right to it. If you can afford to demonstrate a little more patience, then you can have a professional come and do it. You’ll get lab results back that’ll give you a clearer, more thorough idea of what’s in your soil. At the end of the day though – it’ll run you about $10 either way. Some will even do pH and salt tests for free. If you want to get really in-depth, however, it might cost you a little extra.
What Will a Soil Test Tell Me?
Like we said just now – the depth and detail of your test can be as great or as general as you make it. Basic tests usually help identify the amount of organic matter in your soil, its pH, and how many macronutrients are in there as well (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium). More advanced tests will give you more than that and can get into things like soil texture, micronutrients, salinity, and the like.
If you’re looking to get your soil tested, give us a call and we’ll be sure to send someone to come and take a look at your yard so we can get your plants growing again!