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Soil testing helps your landscape look it’s best

(ROCKWALL, TX – Feb. 20, 2016) Winter months can be colorless in the garden.  This year has been a bit different as we have received no hard freezes.  Some landscapes still have roses blooming while daffodils are now starting to bloom with the addition of iris too.  No matter the case now is the time to have a soil test.  Whether you are about to start from a new landscape, renovate and old one or just want to add fertilizer, get a soil test.

It is recommended that you test your soil every two years.   It is a very simple procedure of taking soil samplings around the lawn. Dry the samplings out and mix together.  Drying the soil reduces the weight and the cost of shipping samples.  Fill the soil test bag (or half of a paper lunch sack) and fill out the needed information a Soil Sample Form.  Then send off to the lab of your choice.  It does not matter where you get the soil tested as long as it is a reputable location.  At Extension office we have forms and information for the Soil Testing Labs at Texas A&M University and the Samuel Noble Foundation.  There are private labs in the area as well, and some nurseries provide a similar service.  The key is to choose one and stick with it.  Switching from one source to another will not allow you to understand the differences from amendments made between testings.

It is also important to test your ornamental beds separately from your lawn. The value of your tests is noticed by the amount of nutrients you add to the soil, the difference that you notice in your plants, and the amount it cost you in disposable income.  After all, if you do not know what nutrients are already in your soil, how will you know what Fertilize formula you need and how much to purchase?

Soil sample kits are available at the County Extension Office as well as the directions for collecting the sample.  Call 972-204-7660 for more information, stop by the Extension Office at 915 Whitmore Dr., Suite B, Rockwall ,or go on line to http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/

Use your money wisely when adding amendments to the soil and help keep the environment healthy.

By Todd Williams, Rockwall County Extension Agent. 

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