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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Soil Testing

Whether you are trying to establish a lawn or simply maintain an existing one, you need to first know what condition the soil is in. The success or failure of any crop, from corn to turf grass, can be linked directly to the health of the soil in which it is growing. Without the proper nutrient levels in the soil, plants will be unable to thrive and remain healthy.

A complete soil test should be done in order to determine your soils pH and nutrient levels. This is done by pulling several soil cores from throughout the lawn area. Remove the cores at a depth of about 1-2 inches, then remove any thatch from them and put them in a bag or other suitable container for shipment. Once the sample is collected, send it to a qualified laboratory for testing.

Your local extension agent can usually provide you with a listing of qualified labs for this type of work. Once you receive your test results, you can then determine your fertilization requirements as well as any additional soil amendment requirements, such as lime, that may be needed.

Most fertilizers for home lawns contain 3 major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are necessary for good plant health. Each of these nutrients are responsible for different portions of the plants development. If your soil is lacking in one or more of these nutrients , you may see a decline in the health or vigor of your turf.

At One Step, we believe so strongly in the importance of soil testing, we have made this the foundation of our exclusive "Natural Care Plus" lawn care program. We begin each of our full service customers with a complete soil test for their lawn. Once we know the pH and nutrient levels of each individual lawn, we can then tailor our program to deliver exactly what is required for optimum turf growth and development.

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