Soil tests will help you develop and maintain a more productive and healthy lawn by providing information about the fertility status of your soil. Information from a soil test will help you select the proper fertilization program.
It is much easier to adjust the nutrient levels in your soil before a lawn is installed. So, if you are considering installing a new lawn, make sure you complete a soil sample test before you sod or seed and make any necessary nutrient adjustments before the grass goes in. If you already have a mature lawn, soil profiles can be slowly adjusted to improve your existing lawn.
One of the most important steps in soil testing is collecting the sample. Soil test results can be no better than the sample submitted to the laboratory. Remember that a soil sample weighing about 1 pound is used to represent tens of thousands of pounds of soil in the lawn. Therefore, it is extremely important that soil samples be properly taken.
How to Take A Representative Soil Sample:
- Use clean sampling tools and containers to avoid contamination.
- Do not use a metal bucket to collect/mix the soil.
- Never use tools or containers that have been used for mixing or applying fertilizer or limestone.
- Sample to a depth of 3 inches.
- Remove any surface litter such as turf thatch or mulch.
- Take soil from a minimum of 10 random locations in the sampled area and mix together in a clean bucket. All cores taken for a given soil sample should be collected in a clean bucket, left to dry and then thoroughly mixed.
- Areas that have been treated differently should be sampled separately.
- Use a trowel, spade, or sampling probe to collect soil samples. To use a trowel or spade, push the tool to the desired depth, then push the handle forward, while the tool is still in the soil, making a wide opening. Cut a thin slice from the side of the opening that is of uniform thickness - about 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches wide, extending from the top of the ground to the depth of the cut. Scrape away any grass thatch or mulch, and place into a clean bucket. After the soil is taken, remove the tool and let the soil fall back in place.
To send in your sample for analysis, bring your sample along with your name, address and daytime phone number to Blue Grass Enterprises. We will contact you when the analysis has been returned and help you read the results and make recommendations based on the findings.