Insights, Tips, and Tales

What Does a Soil Test Tell You?

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What Does a Soil Test Tell You?

If you’re looking to add new plants to your landscaping and haven’t done a soil test, don’t get out your gardening gloves just yet.

It can be frustrating when your plants aren’t thriving. You’re watering them enough, they’re getting enough sunlight, and you haven’t seen any garden pests — so what’s the problem?

All soil is different. And because of this, certain plants are better suited for different soil types. Soil testing allows you to assess and adapt your soil to ensure your flowers and bushes thrive!

Here are some of our favorite low-maintenance trees and shrubs to “spruce up” your lawn!

 

What Is Soil pH?

Soil testing is an effective way to determine the relative acidity of your soil (pH) and nutrient levels (more on that later).

The pH scale contains 14 divisions to measure the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. “Neutral” soil has a pH of 7. The lower the number, the more acidic your soil is, and the higher the number, the more alkaline.

See why healthy soil is so important!

This number is determined by rock material, rainfall, native vegetation, soil depth, and the type and amount of fertilizer used.

We know this rundown may feel like you’re back in an 8th-grade science class, but understanding the importance of soil testing is essential to healthy plant growth, especially if you’re doing the test yourself.

 

What Does Soil Testing Tell You?

All soil tests are designed to determine soil pH, but more complex tests can measure macro and micronutrient levels. These tests tell you one of two things: what plants will grow best in your soil and what you need to add or change about your soil for others to thrive.

In addition to pH, soil testing also identifies the levels of several nutrients in the soil, including:

  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Zinc

These nutrients promote growth and enhance photosynthesis. Your soil’s pH and nutrient levels will make plant selection and soil preparation much easier. This also lets you know what type of fertilizer you need.

 

At-Home Soil Testing

DIY soil pH testing kits are available at many home improvement stores with garden centers. You can also send mail-in kits to companies that can test your soil. Or, you can have the experts come to you!

Waynes offers soil pH testing as part of our lawn care assessment to give you an accurate assessment of whether the acidity of your soil needs to be raised or lowered. Call us at 866.WAYNES1 or reach out to us to learn more!

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