Want to help your garden out this year? Perform a soil test! Here are five reasons why you should be testing your garden soil.

Where to Get a Soil Test?

Before we get into reasons why you should be testing your garden soil, we need to answer where to get one. There are several soil tests you can perform at home, or you can purchase a home testing kit. While simple and easy to use, those readings give you ballpark estimations. If you want a complete analysis of your soil, try using the CSU Soil Testing Lab. You mail your sample and submission form to them and they will send you back your comprehensive results. Keep in mind this will take longer to get your results since mailing is involved. Whether you want quick and easy or thorough testing, there are options out there for you!

Reasons to Test Your Garden Soil

To Get a Complete Soil Assessment

One of the most important reasons why you should be testing your garden soil is to understand what’s in it. Different soils have different nutrient profiles, and doing a soil test helps you understand what’s going on in your garden. It can help you catch nutrient deficiencies before they progress too far and allow you to understand what steps you should take to amend them. Besides letting you know about nutrient deficiencies, a soil test will also give you information about the soil’s acidity, texture, and the percentage of organic matter in your soil.

Check the pH of the Soil

Soil’s optimum pH level ranges from 6 to 7. When the pH level rises beyond that, nutrients like phosphorus and iron are reduced, and plant growth can suffer.  When the pH level drops, the nutrient levels rise and can become toxic to plants. While some flowers and vegetables thrive in alkaline soil, others only do better in acidic soil. No matter what, it’s always important to know where your soil stands. Testing your garden soil can reveal the exact pH level and help you decide which plants can go in your garden.

To Know How to Improve the Soil

You’ll never be able to tell the health of your soil just by glancing at it. When you test your garden soil, you’ll be able to see the health and know how to improve the soil to help your plants flourish. For example, if the test shows that your soil has lots of living microorganisms, it might advise you to remove them before you begin planting. You’ll also be able to determine the exact fertilizers or amendments you need to help your soil.

Save Time and Money

When you test your garden soil, not only will you save time, but you’ll also save money and effort on gardening. Knowing the nutrient profile of your soil lets you amend it with the right products at the right intervals. It can also help you save the money you spend on pesticides and herbicides. Infestations are usually caused by nutrient imbalances, so testing is one way to control infestations in your garden.

It’s Eco-Friendly

Another reason to test your soil is it’s eco-friendly. When you know more about your soil, you use the right amount of fertilizers and reduce runoffs on waterways. Since you’re also using fewer fertilizers, you’re minimizing your consumption of them. So not only do you help your wallet, but you’re also helping the Earth!

Let Beaver Lakes Nursery Help You Amend Your Soil

When you’re ready to add fertilizers and amendments to your soil, Beaver Lakes Nursery will be there for you! We have plenty of organics so no matter what your soil needs, we can help you out. Beaver Lakes Nursery & Landscape Supply is located in beautiful Montrose, Colorado, and we can’t wait to help you grow!