Good soil is the foundation of a good lawn. You can pour hundreds of dollars worth of products into your turf grass and spend even more on lawn care services, but if the foundation isn't there, all is for naught. A soil test will tell you if your lawn needs fertilizer (nutrients) or lime or sulphur. An inexpensive soil test kit can be purchased at any local home improvement or hardware store, usually for less than $10. Each kit will have its own specific instructions, but we'll cover some basics here. Alternately, most counties will perform a test on a soil sample you provide them at a minimal cost.
- Wait If You've Just Fertilized or Limed - Both these will skew your results, so wait several weeks before testing to ensure accurate results.
- Test Several Areas - Soil conditions may vary widely from one part of the lawn to another. To get an accurate analysis, you should collect samples from 8-12 different sites (each test kit is able to test several samples).
- Not Too Deep - You want to know about the soil that is affecting your turf grass, whose roots grow about 3-4" long, so you need not dig deeper than that.
- Use Proper Tools - Galvanized metals and brass may contaminate your samples so it's best to use a stainless steel spade, but a large soup spoon will work in a pinch.
- Mix, Mix, Mix - Once you've collected your samples, remove any grass blades or other organic matter, and crumble the matted soil around the roots into one clean bucket. Then you should mix it all up!
- Test - Now you're ready to perform the actual test according to the instructions provided in your kit.
PRO TIP: A&L Eastern Laboratory suggests that if one area of your yard seems healthy and another has bare or yellow areas, sample healthy and unhealthy areas separately even if both are lawn grasses.
DIY TIP: If you have trouble interpreting the results of your soil test, take them to a local nursery or garden center for advice. A salesperson or associate can explain the results, tell you what products your lawn needs, and show you how to use them.
Seem too complicated? Don't have the time?
Weed Pro is happy to take the guess work out of soil testing and analysis for our customers. Our Soil Testing Service will provide you with a full break-down of your soil's composition, and what is needed to provide the perfect environment for a lush, green lawn.
And if you'd like a lawn care program developed around your individual soil test results, click below for a free, no pressure quote, or visit our packages page to compare prices.