Soil Testing

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by OrangeToys, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. OrangeToys

    OrangeToys LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW MO
    Messages: 1,034

    Does anyone do soil test? and how do you do them (send them off, do it yourself)?
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,675

    I do. New accounts with old landscaping and already established lawn. I want to know what is there, what is missing and what is in excess. Common problem is too much phosphorus and pH way off.

    My samples go to A & L Laboratories, Modesto, California. Simple process. One pint of dry soil goes into a plastic bag. I do not handle the sample with bare hands at any time, the sampling is done with a stainless steel garden trowel that is only used for this purpose. My Agrium dealer is the rep for that lab. $35 and 10 business days later, I have answers. Good answers to comments like "I/the gardeners did apply fertilizer, but not much happened".
  3. OrangeToys

    OrangeToys LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW MO
    Messages: 1,034

    can you post a pic of your tool?
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,315

  5. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    I can, but this is not the time, or place, LOL. Go to, they have about 20 different types of soil test probes. If you don't have the $, you can make one out of a core aerator tooth, attached to a wooden or steel handle.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I push my clients into doing soil tests whenever possible. I like to know what is exactly going on.

    We have a lab 45 minutes away and I just take them there whenever I need to.
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,675

    What I charge per month of lawn and landscape care more than covers the cost of a soil test. People here do not take well to being nickel and dimed over things. My position on soil testing sets me apart from others in the business. They make a real big deal out of it and soak the customer over it. Soil tests are part of the service.

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