Prime Time to Soil Test

William Afton  |  2/22/2013 1:54:17 AM

If due to rain, cold or lack of enthusiasm, you haven’t done a soil test, now is the prime time. Soil testing is the most often overlooked, but necessary, step in starting or continuing a garden or improving your landscape. Knowing where you are is as important as knowing where you want to go when it comes to our soils. Simple steps to soil testing help you know what your plant needs nutritionally to thrive.

Soiling testing steps:

  • Take soil from at least 10 random places in the area you intend to plant or improve.
  • Take the soil sample from 4-6 inches deep.
  •  Place these random samples in a plastic container and mix thoroughly.
  •  From the mix, take one pint of soil as your soil sample.
  •  Label the sample with name or number for identification. This helps to identify a specific location.
  •  Bring the sample to the LSU AgCenter office with a $10.00 check or money order. No cash can be collected.

Results usually take 7-10 days. The recommendations will include whether or not lime is needed. Any lime required is best applied 6-8 weeks before fertilizing. Fertilizer needed will also be included in the results usually in ounces per bush, pounds per 1000 square ft.or tons per acre. Following the recommendations will make your landscape ready for “prime time” production.

Please see the Soil Testing & Plant Anaylsis Lab section of the LSU AgCenter website for additional information.

An illustrated guide to taking a soil sample is availabe.

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