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soil testing

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ccorts, May 8, 2002.

  1. ccorts

    ccorts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Can anyone tell me the simplest and most accurate way to test my soil. I have several soil types in my 3 acres of yard and specific problems in each, including sparse grass in full sun and shaded areas as well as yellow grass in shady area. Where and how do most homeowners get their soil tested? Home kits or send it out?
  2. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    I did my first soiltest a few years back, through the local Farm Bureau.
    Essentially I had the same question because I knew that I had filled a rather larger area with fresh top-soil and I've seen the variance going from sand to clay when I planted pine-trees.
    For my 3 acres I was told to obtain multiple samples from all over the property and mix them in a bag.
    I suppose if the areas in question would cover several acres by themselves it may be worth it to obtain different soiltests for each area.
    As far as the grass-growth, or lack thereof in different areas is concerned, after getting my soil where it needed to be I spend some time with aerating, overseeding etc, just some basic care that the lawn never had, and achieved good results. The lawn was green and lush throughout the year, in the sun as well as the shade.
    From what I know, you can seed 'sunny grass mix' in the shaded area and get good results but the 'shady mix' won't thrive in the sunny areas.
    So, to sum it up, I'd get samples from the entire yard, bring them to your local 'green-dealer' and let them direct you from there. I know that I learned quite a bit about proper lawncare just by talking to them.
    Good luck.
  3. keifer

    keifer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Take them to lesco or for a fair read buy a cheap tester at lowes
  4. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    You may need more than a simple pH test if the problem lies in the soil. Any number of factors could cause what you're talking about.

    CLC Labs in Columbus can do a comprehensive work up of your soil. From the test area pull 12 to 15 random plugs with a soil probe, package it up and ship it out.
  5. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    If you think you have soil problems then hire a professional. It will cost the same as you buying a kit and it will get done right. If you want to make this your hobby/back yard experiment then buy the kit, no guarantees, no warranty.


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