In our previous article, we mentioned that soil testing might be the perfect solution to your Newton landscaping. However, we didn’t really explain what’s involved and why this test is so helpful. Because of that, we’re dedicating this blog to soil testing! The ins and outs, the whys, and the where; soil testing, this article is for you.
Understanding soil testing
A soil test refers to the sampling and analysis of a variety of different types of soil. However, one of the most commonly conducted tests are based around planting. Whether grass, trees, vegetables, or flower gardens – your soil is the deciding factor in your growing success. Soil testing determines nutrient content, compositions, and other crucial characteristics.
Two fundamental characteristics
A basic soil analysis will provide you with two key pieces of information:
- pH levels – pH is measured as either low (acidic), ideal, or high (alkaline). Soil testing will determine the level of pH in your yard and provide recommendations for correction if needed.
- Nutrient levels – Just like humans, nutrients in the soil are an essential part of survival. Testing for phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium can help to determine if your soil needs adjusting. Often, a lime application can help to resolve underlying issues with soil nutrients.
When laboratories analyze soil, they often divide elements into three categories: major, secondary, and minor nutrients.
- Major – nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium
- Secondary – sulfur, calcium, magnesium
- Minor – iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, chlorine
If you’re confident in your soil, there are several at-home tests available for homeowners. However, these tests typically only test for the “major” nutrient levels as well as the pH levels. By utilizing labs, you’ll receive results that are more accurate and utilize cutting-edge technologies. Professional interpretation of the results then empowers you with trusted, expert recommendations to remedy your current soil condition.
Results are in hand, now what?
Once your soil testing is complete, you’ll have a handful of data to get your journey started. The form provided by your professional testing company will give you specific recommendations for your soil. Not only will the recommendations include levels of each nutrient, but it will also guide you in purchasing the best fertilizer for your needs.
If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, it’s time to let our team at Cataldo assist with all of your Newton landscaping needs. Servicing Newton and surrounding towns for decades, we have the experience and knowledge your lawn deserves! Contact us today at (781) 304-8900 for more information.