The most important part of making fertilizer recommendations is collecting a good, representative soil sample for testing. Soil test results and fertilizer recommendations are based solely on the few ounces of soil submitted to the laboratory for analysis. Our lawn care services include obtaining soil samples, interpreting analysis results and applying the recommended products for optimum results.
Gardens, lawns, and landscaped areas are all sampled separately. As part of our lawn care services we collect random sample cores from each area of your property. Problem areas and areas with shrubs, trees, or flowerbeds are sampled separately from other turf or lawn areas.
Soil sampling can also be used to “troubleshoot” areas of the lawn that are visually different or are consistently low yielding when compared to the rest of the lawn. A sample is taken from both the poor growing area and adjacent areas of good growth.
One commonly overlooked component of soil sampling is the depth of soil to be tested. Most plant nutrients accumulate at the soil surface. This nutrient stratification is a result of past broadcast fertilizer applications and decomposition of plant residue on the soil surface. Because there is a higher concentration of nutrients on the soil surface, soil test values usually go down as the sample depth is increased. Lawns and turf grass are core sampled to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.
Sampling and preparing the soil for submission is only half of the process. The other equally important part is filling out sample information sheets so that the desired crop, turf grass, and other information can be considered when making the fertilizer recommendations. The sample information sheet contains all the important information required to provide accurate lime and fertilizer recommendations as part of our regular lawn care services.