Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Soil testing, 1...2...3...

This year is the first time we will be getting our soil tested.  This is important for any successful garden, and to be honest I just never knew how easy and cheap it is.  Particularly because we had a... challenging season last year, I'd like to know if there are any changes we can make.  The steps to doing this are pretty simple:

1.  Visit the Penn State Soil Lab website (yes, there are others out there; this just happens to be the one I am using)
2.  Download the relevant forms
3.  Follow instructions for taking soil samples.  Basically, for each garden plot you'd like to have analyzed, you take twelve small scoops of soil (see the link for more details).
4.  Combine the samples (see my bucket, pictured above).
5.  Spread out on a sheet of cardboard to dry for a day or two.
6.  Follow directions to mail in sample.  Results take a few weeks to receive.

The results will tell you the pH of your soil; depending on the result, there are different amendments you can make to get your soil to the ideal pH.   More on that when my results arrive!

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