Grow Tips

Soil Testing

When you are getting ready to maintain your lawn, it is best to test the soil in order to see what you will have to do in order to keep it looking healthy. Soil testing will determine not only how much you need to water your lawn, but also will give you an idea of what nutrients are in your lawn. If there are not enough nutrients, or if they are absorbed in the wrong way through the soil, then your lawn can easily not look as healthy as it was meant to be.

When you test your soil in your lawn, you will be able to measure how much of each type of nutrient your lawn will need to receive. There are several ways to test your soil, as well as different conclusions that can be reached by measuring the soil in your lawn.

The first way to test your soil is through finding the pH balance of your soil. There are several test kits that are available for your use to determine the level of pH that your soil is at. If you are uncertain about using one of these kits, there are universities and companies which offer pH balance testing for your soil.

By knowing the pH, you can determine how many nutrients will be needed in order to balance out the soil. If the pH is off, it will be harder for the right nutrients to be given to your grass. By balancing out the nutrients through the pH, it will help with the growth of your lawn.

The second thing to consider with your soil is what type of soil you have. There are generally four different categories that are included in the types of soils that are present. The first kind is sand. This is usually light and airy. If your lawn has sandy soil, it will be harder to maintain for several reasons. It is unable to carry a large amount of water or nutrients in it because it is a grainy type of soil that is smaller in size. If you have sandy soil, it is best to either replace it with a lot of nutrients, or water frequently.

The second type of soil is silt. This type of dirt is usually found around river beds. Like sand, it can not retain much water and erodes easily. The problem with silt is that it will not retain water or nutrients when you water. Instead, it will wash away.

The third type of soil is clay. This is opposite of sandy soil, as it is heavy in texture. While it absorbs water and nutrients easier, because of its thick texture, it is often hard for this to reach the lawn. The fourth type of soil is loam. This is noted to be a balanced type of soil, with a good amount of nutrients, but it won't cause drainage or hold things away from the plants.

You can test the soil you have by digging into your yard and picking up a handful of dirt. If the dirt clumps together, it is more like the clay. If it falls easily out of your hand it is closer to the sandy or silt type of soil. The loam soil will be found if it stays in your hand, but does not clump together when you test it.

Once you know which type of soil you have, you can determine what types of nutrients or fertilizer you need to add in order to grow a great looking lawn. If the nutrients are unbalanced in your yard, you might have problems with brown spots or wilting.

Soil testing will also help in determining how often you need to water your lawn. If the soil is closer to a clay type, then it won't be necessary to water your lawn as much. If it is closer to a sandy or silt type of soil, then it is important to water it consistently, as the water won't be absorbed as easily.

By testing your soil for both the pH balance, as well as for type of soil, you will be able to know how to maintain your lawn with little to no extra work. It will also help your lawn to look healthy throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons.