soil probeOne of the things we recommend to people who are trying to improve their lawn’s health and color is to take a soil test. This information can be valuable in finding out exactly what your lawn needs and how to get it to be the beautiful turf you are desiring. People are often confused about why soil testing is so important. Here are just a few points to consider:

#1 – Go to the Doc, already! How many times have you heard of a person getting “blood work” done? This common medical procedure gives a physician insight on how to diagnose and treat their patient. In the Lawn Care Industry, our patient is the lawn, and our “blood work” is a Soil Test. Amazingly, the majority of Lawn Care firms, as well as homeowners, never/rarely test the soil where they are trying to grow a healthy lawn. Penn State University offers a standard soil test for phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and lime requirements at a nominal fee. Testing kits can be purchased at your local Penn State County Extension Office, or done by a knowledgeable lawn care professional. Taking an adequate sample is important.

Penn State Soil Test Kit#2 – Give It To Me Straight, Doc! An easy, independent analysis of your soil can give you valuable information. A simple imbalance or deficiency in our body can completely change our appearance and health. Grass plants are living organisms similar to us in many ways. Even though we both receive proper nutrition from time to time, it doesn’t mean we have everything we need for optimum health. Having the proper levels of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are essential to grow a nice, full lawn. Equally important is maintaining the proper pH in your soil. If the pH is off, just by 1 number, it can impact your lawn drastically! If any of these items are improperly balanced, it can lead to poor turf color, poor turf density, increased susceptibility to disease damage, and can even promote certain varieties of weeds in your lawn to flourish. Understanding how to read a soil test is important as it will serve as your lawn’s prescription to correct these deficiencies.

Soil Test Report#3 – Take Your Medicine! What good is going to the doctor and getting tests done, if you don’t follow the recommendations of your physician? The answer is an obvious, “None”. Your Soil Test Report will also give you recommendations.  It will specifically tell you what your prescription and dosage will be to move the element levels and pH to their optimum range. All of these formulations of elements are available from professional lawn care suppliers. However, some of the recommended materials may also be purchased at retail locations. A reputable Professional Lawn Care Provider or even a properly trained individual will be able to give your lawn the shot it needs.

Here’s to Your Health (and Your Lawn’s)!

If you would like to have a soil test performed on your lawn, we would be happy to do so for a small charge. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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