Your body’s health dictates pretty much everything about you, from how good you feel mentally to your energy and productivity levels. That’s why when you feel unwell, you’re advised to see a doctor so that they can determine what’s wrong with you and get you back to health.
Plants function in the same way. To grow and thrive, the soil they live on must be healthy. Now, soil profiles differ with location. Some soils may not have the nutrients necessary to grow certain plants. In other cases, the nutrients may be too depleted from overuse.
Your gardening efforts will likely go to waste without a proper understanding of your soil profile. What you need to do is to conduct a soil test for your garden or lawn. The good news is you can get a soil test kit
, gather the samples yourself, and then mail them for testing. You will have the results in about a week.
So, what exactly can this test tell you?
Your Soil PH
Depending on where you are, your soil may be more acidic or alkaline on the PH scale. But the ideal PH for healthy grass growth is neutral. That is somewhere between 5.5 and 7.5. If the PH is too low or too high, your plants will likely be deprived of certain essential minerals and chemicals
However, most minerals plants need to thrive are available in neutral soils. So, knowing your soil PH can help determine whether you need to add lime or sulfur. Or nothing at all.
The Levels of Essential Minerals
Minerals are essential for grass and other plants’ health. Your soil should have adequate amounts of phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur, among other less important minerals.
A soil test kit should let you know the specific amounts of these minerals in your soil so that you know what to add to attain the right balance
. This helps you avoid overfertilization, thus, saving you money.
Organic Matter Percentage
Organic matter is the foundation for healthy, productive soil. It combines with soil and water to form soil aggregates, thus improving the soil structure. A healthy amount of organic matter also packs your soil with essential nutrients and even helps regulate soil acidity, providing the perfect conditions for your grass to thrive. So, you definitely want to know whether your organic matter levels are sufficient.
Today, most soil testing kits also measure your lawn or garden’s lead levels. Lead occurs naturally in the soil but in low amounts. But because lead was a common component of many products in the past, the amounts can be pretty high and, frankly, dangerous. So, you will know if there’s any contamination in your soil.
Get a Soil Test Kit to Better Understand Your Soil Profile & Improve the Health of Your Plants
Soil testing gives you all the vital information you need for a thriving lawn or home garden. By understanding what your soil lacks, you can take measures to improve it and, consequently, help your plants thrive. After making improvements in your soil profile, ensure you do another test not too long after to see if the issues have been resolved.