The Importance of Soil Testing

The Importance of Soil Testing

Knowing what is in your soil in terms of nutrients can help you avoid costly mistakes! Every single plant, grass, fruit or vegetable you have or plant in your dirt will be heavily affected by the nutrients in the soil.

Like humans, plants need proper levels of nutrition and plenty of water. Plants are a little less complex than us in that they really only need 4 things… The appropriate PH level, and healthy doses of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).

Let’s Examine The Photo Below

From Left To Right: Phosphorous, Potassium, Nitrogen, PH Levels

In this image, we can see that the soil tested here is very low in both phosphorous and potassium and very high in nitrogen. The soils PH is on the higher end and quite alkaline. So what does this mean for your plants?

For the soil tested here, I can tell you that the soil conditions are quite sandy and need to be properly amended. This is something we discuss in our Soil Types: Know Your Garden Post. The testing tells us that many plant types would struggle here – which is exactly the case. Not even grass is growing. While it’s nice to see a high nitrogen count, the low phosphorous and potassium is quite concerning and must be amended.

Several things can be added to your soil to help increase the nutrient levels such as bone meal, nitrate of soda and muriate of potash. Dosing and amounts should be researched if you are amending the soil yourself, otherwise have a local master gardener or a well-versed landscaping company (who is highly educated in soil testing, types and amending) complete the testing and amending for you. Understand, however, that amending is not a one-time deal and can take weeks or months to fix depending on the conditions of your soil.

Need help with your soil? Contact us today and let us help you!

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