Professional Lawn and Landscape Care

Soil Testing

A soil profile

Everyone admires a beautiful, lush, healthy lawn. The first step in achieving one is soil testing to determine the proper nutrient program for maximum turf building. Samples should be taken from several areas of the lawn, especially if they vary substantially in drainage, soil type or other characteristics. Flower and shrubbery beds should also be tested so the particular requirements can be met. This simple analysis will provide data to manage a more luxurious lawn, brilliant flowers and dense landscape foliage.

Soil testing is the best scientific method available to evaluate the nutritional status of the soil. Nutrient stresses and imbalances can reduce plant vigor, which increases the plants susceptibility to damage from drought, disease, insects, and other conditions.

That is why soil testing is important. And with so much at stake, your test must be as accurate as possible. Expert testing does not just happen; it’s the result of experienced people, reliable instruments, and a host of related factors. Dan’s Green Side Up will provide you with professional dedication to accuracy.

Soil testing and proper lawn care will let you fully enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, healthy and environmentally sound lawn.

The soil foundation influences the long-term health and sustainability of a lawn and landscape more than any other factor

For soil to be productive for what you’re growing, it has to contain the right mix of nutrients and trace minerals. Its structure should have a healthy balance of clay, sand, loam, and organic material. Also, it must have the right pH level for your plants or lawn. The only real way to know what’s in your soil is to test it. Our soil test gives you a complete analysis, so you’ll know if you need to add organic material, lime, or other amendments. In short, a simple test can make a big difference, because you’ll know how to solve problems that may have stumped you in the past.

Soil tests can tell you many things about your soil but usually cover the soil pH, nutrients present in the soil and cation exchange capacity. These items can go along way in helping you determine what your lawn needs. Soil pH varies for each plant species but in general most plants are in the 6.5 ot 7 range . A few exceptions like rhododendrons and clematis do occur. For turf a pH range of 6.5 to 7 is a good range. Depending on your soil result you will know whether you need to increase or decrease you pH. A little known fact that adding organic matter tends to move the soil to a neutral pH of 7.

The soil test will tell you how much of each of the three main or macro-nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) you may need to add . Micronutrients such as iron,boron, magnesium and calcium may also be assessed and recommendations for these elements may be given as well. A soil test tells you if the nutrients are there and if their being absorbed by the plant.

A soil test will give you a good idea if the nutrients are available by providing you with Cation Exchange Capacity (C.E.C) number. This number is basically an idea as to how well your soil will hold nutrients and become available to the roots of the plants. Type of soil has a direct effect on the C.E.C number as sandy soil tend to have a low number. A low C.E.C number can mean that nutrients may have a higher leaching potential. The C.E.C number is not perfect and the only way to be sure plants are absorbing nutrients is with a tissue test.

A soil test indicates a baseline for lawn fertilization program recommendations and how to maintain proper sustainable plant health. Soil properties are such a large topic, a more details may be find in this link.

Enjoy “the other side of the fence” and schedule your soil test with Dan’s Green Side Up!

Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources