Read these 4 Soil Analysis Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Lawn tips and hundreds of other topics.
One of the most important steps in establishing and caring for a lawn is finding out what the soil conditions are. If your soil is low in vital nutrients or has a chemical imbalance, your grass will not perform up to your expectations. Having the soil analyzed is easy. You call your Cooperative Extension Service, and tell them you need a soil analysis. The extension agent will then either send you a sample collection kit, or give you instructions on how to collect samples and send them in. That's it! Your results will arrive in about two weeks, and they will usually contain recommendations for correcting any problems detected in the analysis. Follow these recommendations to the letter.
Many lawn care tip sheets tell you to add lime once a year. If your grass is actively growing and responding to fertilizer applications, you don't need to add anything at all. Lime raises soil pH. In some soil conditions, raising pH can cause Iron deficiency problems. With some types of grass, adding lime to your lawn can serious damage or even kill it. Unless you have had your soil analyzed and the results recommend the addition of lime, don't do it.
Your soil is literally teeming with life. If you viewed a tiny sample of ordinary topsoil through a microscope, you would see a thriving population of bacteria, algae, fungi and protozoans. These microbes feed on decaying vegetation and nutrients provided in your fertilizer. They even feed on each other! You could feasibly grow grass in completely sterile soil, but the inputs and work would be tremendous. All those little guys down there are your friends.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|