Why Soil Testing can be Beneficial
Plants depend on mineral nutrients from the soil for healthy growth and survival. Some nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, are needed by plants in larger amounts, but each nutrient is important and helps plants carry out a specific function. Calcium helps plants form root hairs, whereas nitrogen boosts plants’ above-ground leafy growth.
A soil test determines what nutrients are available and deficient in your soil. It also determines your soil’s pH, the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, which effects how available the existing soil nutrients are to your plants.
With the results of a soil test you can correct soil deficiencies by adding soil amendments. For example, with a phosphorus deficiency you can mix rock phosphate or aged manure into your soil in the fall. Amending soil can lead to healthier plants and a more productive landscape.