Why soil test?
Soil testing is an important part of our philosophy at Calcium Products – without knowing the nutrient status of your soil, how are you to make informed decisions about what to apply to it?
Turf managers are normally good about soil testing, but if you haven’t been consistent about it or have been thinking about starting a soil testing program, now is the time to do so. With environmental regulations being administered in certain areas of the U.S., soil testing will help you maximize your fertilizer investment and make educated decisions on the best type of fertilizers to supply exactly what you need.
What a soil test measures
There are a wide variety of soil tests available that can help you gain insight into your nutrient status, soil type/texture, infiltration rates, water holding capacity, etc.
A basic soil test is likely to provide you with the following measurements:
- - Soil pH
- - Cation exchange capacity (CEC)
- - Phosphorous
- - Potassium
- - Calcium
- - Magnesium
- - Lime requirement
Additional analyses that may be of interest depending on your location and situation might include:
- - Soil texture
- - Total soluble salts
- - Sodium adsorption ratio (SAR)
- - Sulfur
- - Micronutrients
Nitrogen testing is typically not included in all sampling regimens due to its instability, making interpretation of the value difficult.
How to get started
Checking in with your state extension specialist to see what they recommend with regard to appropriate testing methods and preferred laboratories in your area is the best way to ensure you are testing all the right things for your situation.
Finding a lab you are comfortable with and that is regionally appropriate for you is important to maintain consistency and to build a historical database on which to inform decisions. The lab you choose will also offer recommendations on what nutrient levels to supply to bring them back into sufficiency range. You may double check with your state extension specialist to see if the laboratory recommendations are aligned with what they normally recommend.