This spring has seen a bumper year for soil sampling and soil testing. Many people are collecting soil samples in their yards, gardens and fields. Over the next few weeks, it appears the ground temperature will continue to get warment and hopefully temperatures will follow suit. It has been quite a winter to remember, record snow amounts in some areas and very little in other areas.
The one consistent is soil testing. Getting a soil test really helps you focus on where your soil currently stands with respect to nutrients. Over the years, many gardners have just applied soil ammendments as a part of the planting process. I saw this situation come to play with a neighbor of mine who recently had his soil tested in his garden. His numbers were outstanding, pH at 7.0 and other nutrients were well in line. When I told him that he would be best off to add nothing to maybe a little gypsum, he acted very surprised.
I think this is a good case of how gardeners and lawn owners have taken care of their land and applied the proper ammendments over time, but now by adding additional ammendments to the soil, they could actually be hurting or jeopardizing their lawn and gardens because they have too much nutrients like phosphorus, potassium or nitrogen.
If you are in dought, consider one of the two ways to get started.
1) Sign up for 25 free soil bags and a return shipping label if you have a large area that are hoping to sample for your corn or soybean crops. Check out available soil test packages on the following page. Your price includes recommendations for crops if you elect to go this route. Also, consider checking out some soil resources in the Midwest Laboratories Library for Soil Sampling and Interpreting Soil Analysis.
2) Purchase a Lawn and Garden Kit – $25.00 This kit includes soil bag, instructions and a return shipping label. It is a very popular test this time of year and it will provide you with the information you need for your next purchase of fertilizer.