Tip of the day: Get a soil test

Thu. Oct. 13, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Tip of the day:  Get a soil test

Getting a soil test is always a good idea!

Getting a soil test through a University lab offers much more comprehensive information and is worth the money.

soil hands

A reminder as we head into possible flooding season, flooded soil loses some micronutrients and compost.

Soil Testing Laboratory [University of Minnesota Extension] I also have a link in my Favorite Links

Soil testing laboratory [NDSU]

Soil testing laboratory [University of Wisconsin]

Check your local county extensions and various other horticulture schools.

The why and how to of soil sampling.

Before you start digging for samples, make sure you’re soil is dried out sufficiently.  You can test it by taking a handful of soil, squeeze it in your hand.  If it stays in a tight ball, it’s too wet;  if it crumbles apart, unlikely right now, it’s too dry;  if it stays in a loose ball, it’s just right!

This is also a rudimentary test to see if you have clay, sand or loam.  Only this time you dampen the soil deliberately.  Not too wet, just damp.  If the soil ribbons up when squeezed in your hand, it’s clay.  If it crumbles, it’s sand.  If it stays in a loose ball then it’s loam.

Soil types

Soil types

I want to welcome, once again, my sponsor Creekside Soils.  They blend a number of soil amendments as well as potting soil and topsoil.  Available around the country in a nursery near you.  Gardeners who know, use Creekside.  Try their new Gardeners Supreme Mix!

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