Soil testing is an essential part of maintaining a beautiful lawn and staying informed of your landscape’s health. Soil tests provide a clear idea of your soil’s nutrient status and pH, which can lead you to the best practices for a healthy lawn. Soil testing is an inexpensive way to maintain excellent landscape health and avoid incorrect fertilizer applications. Knowing the soil pH can also help you select the best plants, as some grow well within specific pH ranges. Consulting with the experienced team at Scientific Plant Service regarding your soil testing can help ensure your test is conducted well. Once you receive your results, you can better understand what your landscape needs to thrive.
When Is The Best Time for Soil Testing?
Soil samples can be collected almost anytime of the year for established landscapes as long as the soil is not frozen. For new sites, soil samples should be collected whenever the soil is workable and prior to planting so any adjustments can be made before installation. Most people test their soil in the spring before the growing season is fully underway. You should generally test your soil every two to three years. When testing sandy soils with high rainfall and irrigation rates, soil samples should be taken annually.
How Are Soil Samples Taken?
A representative sample of your soil is essential for accurate soil testing. For established lawns, an adequate selection can include a 3-4 inch sample taken after removing thatch. You may also include a sample of five or more scattered or random spots in the test area. Potential errors can occur if:
- There are too few cores per sample
- The tester fails to properly divide the site to be sampled
- The entire area isn’t covered
- The sample is contaminated
If you are new to soil testing, you should rely on a professional the first time to ensure that the samples are taken correctly and that you can get accurate test results.
What Is Included In Soil Testing?
When soil testing, a general fertility test is performed. This test includes the measurement of soil pH, neutralizable acidity (NA), phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, organic matter (OM), and cation exchange capacity (CEC).
When a reputable soil test laboratory performs your soil testing, your results will be thorough. They will provide you with guidance for your lawn’s nutrient needs and recommended fertilization. The lawn health experts at Scientific Plant Service can also help you understand your results and suggest the best fertilizer for your unique landscape. By giving your lawn the specific nutrients it needs, you help it reach optimal health and stay beautiful throughout the year.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.