Most people disregard a soil sample test for their lawn. A turf care program should start by testing the soil pH levels whether you use natural or synthetic fertilizers. How to take soil samples is simple, even if all you use is a do-it-yourself sampling analysis kit.
Why take a soil sample. It is for a soil test which will tell you what nutrients your loam is lacking to have healthy green grass. The test results also have the all important pH levels.
Why would you add chemicals if you didn’t know if your grass needed the nutrients? Isn’t that just wasting your money?
A soil sample is the easiest most productive chore in your yard.
For the cost of a cheap rake and less time it takes you to go buy it, you can have this done. How to take soil samples is even more important if you’re re-seeding or starting a new lawn. So if you have the attitude of doing it once and doing it right the first time, get off to a good start by having the analysis done.
How to Take a Soil Sample
Depending on your yard, sometimes it’s necessary to take more than one sample, one for the front yard and one for the back. Use your own judgment. If part of your yard has a drastically different environment than another get separate soil samples.
To get accurate soil test results, depending on the size of your grass area take 6 – 10 small portions of loam from various sections of your lawn using a clean small spade. Try to go down at least 4 – 6 inches, remove any rock or debris, mix the samples together and let dry. Place about one cup of the dry loam in a clean plastic bag. If you’re sending more than one soil sample, make sure to label each bag from which part of the yard you got the sample.
Your local Cooperative Extension Office will test it for you for a small fee or sometimes free depending were you are.
The mailing address and other necessary forms should be available online or you can call for them. In the phone book they should be under agriculture or horticulture usually at a local University.
It’s important to have the soil analysis done in relative proximity to your local area as soil differ all around the world and testing is consistent for that area where the lab is located.
If you’re having a tough time finding an analysis facility or you just want to test soil pH, here are a few home soil sampling test kits available.
On the forms that they supply you with, they will give you several options of what kind of grass test you need done. Check off home lawn and basic test with organic matter. The percentage of organic matter is very important to your program and it’s only about 5 dollars extra. Mail it.
In about three to four weeks you should get your results from the soil testing lab and you will know were you stand when it comes to nutrients and minerals, pH levels, they will also recommend how to resolve the problem areas.
Home testing kits are available that you buy at the store or on-line.
Your first test should be completed by using a professional lab where you’ll get certain test results that we will discuss in the Understanding your test analysis page.
Testing makes understanding your lawn’s needs simple. A test defines your grass needs and excesses. Just testing for pH is worth any money spent. Take a sampling every year for the first 3 years in late spring. You will see the nutrients and micro-nutrients levels gradually adjust to the correct ranges.
Try to have the test done at about the same time every year.
What is a Soil Sample
A Soil Analysis Can Make the Difference in Your Lawn
Once you’re content with the outcome of the soil sample test, you can cut back to having it done every 2-3 years. You’ll see a dramatic improvement in your grass.