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Landscape Articles

The importance of a soil test in Massachusetts

WHAT IS A SOIL TEST?

A soil test is the analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient content, composition and other characteristics, including contaminants. Tests are usually performed to measure the expected growth potential of a soil. It measures fertility, indicates deficiencies that need to be remedied and determine potential toxicities from excessive fertility and inhibitions from the presence of non-essential trace minerals. By testing your soil you will be improving your soils' composition and plant growth.

It is especially important for new homeowners to test their soil before investing in new plantings or garden beds. A lot of times older homes will have lead in the soil making vegetable gardens unsafe to plant.

WHY TEST YOUR SOIL?

-In order to optimize your plant, shrub and grass production and growth
-To protect the environment from contamination by runoff and leaching of excess fertilizers
-To aid in the diagnosis of plant culture problems
-To improve the soils nutritional balance
-To save money and conserve energy by applying the right amount of fertilizer and water needed
-To identify soils contaminated with lead or other heavy metals


WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR SOIL TESTED?


Moodscapes, of course! If not us then you can buy do-it-youself kits at your local garden supply store. For a more comprehensive test check your local State University Agricultural Program for soil testing. Most State Universities accept samples from all and are able to run a more thorough test than a do-it-yourself kit.

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