Knowing the nutrient content and pH of your soil is the first step of healthy lawn. Lawns are grown on a wide variety of soil types and fertilizer requirements can vary greatly depending on what’s going on in the soil.
Many nutrients tend to be over-applied resulting in imbalances in the soil and harmful effects on the environment. An excess of nitrogen can cause leaching and groundwater contamination or contamination of waterways from run-off.
Many current fertilizers no longer contain phosphorus because it binds with the soil, and years of needless applications have virtually eliminated the need to apply phosphorus to a lawn ever again.
Zero represents harsh acidity, fourteen is extreme alkalinity, with seven being neutral. The pH of a lawn’s soil should be in the 6.0 – 7.5 range.
How To Test Your Soil
You can get soil tested through most garden centers. It is inexpensive (around $10) and provides a wealth of knowledge.
To Take a Soil Sample:
- Label sample and return to garden center
- Use a trowel, shovel, soil probe, sampling tube or soil auger
- Sample to a depth of 4-6 inches
- Remove any grass, thatch or debris
- Take 5 or 6 samples, mix them thoroughly in a plastic bucket and ensure you have approximately 1 pint of soil
- Spread over newspaper and let dry 24 hours.
The results will provide recommendations to correct any fertilizer deficiencies and pH adjustments allowing a more comprehensive approach to fertilizing the lawn.