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ASK THE EXPERTS

Now’s the time for soil samples

POSTED: August 31, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Now is an excellent time to soil test your lawn, garden or pasture.

 

Why take a soil sample and have the extension service test the soil? Determining the fertility level of a soil through a soil test is the first step in planning a sound time and fertilization program.

 

A soil test provides a simple means of monitoring the soil so deficiencies, excesses and imbalances can be avoided.

 

Many soil samples tested from Dawson County are low in pH and one or more of the essential plant nutrients.

 

Therefore, to maintain normal plant growth, lime and fertilizer must be supplied in sufficient quantity to meet the plant’s requirements. 

 

The only way to know for sure if lime is needed is by having a soil test.

 

One of the most important steps in soil testing is collecting the sample.

 

Soil test results can be no better than the sample submitted to the laboratory for analysis. 

 

A soil sample weighing about one pound represents thousands of pounds of soil in the landscape or garden.

 

Therefore, it is extremely important that samples be properly and carefully taken.

 

• Take soil from a number of locations in the sampled area and mix together in a clean bucket.

 

• For trees and shrubs, take soil from six to eight spots around the dripline of the plants and mix together.

 

• For lawns and pastures, sample to a depth of four inches. For gardens, ornamentals and fruit trees, sample to a depth of six inches.

 

• Place sample in clean bag or container and bring to the Dawson County Extension Office. The Extension office is located at the Dawson County Agricultural Center on 298 Academy Avenue.

 

• Only one pint of soil is needed per sample.

 

• The cost is $8 per sample ($6 for test/$2 for postage).

 

In other extension service news:

 

The Dawson County Produce Market is still open with a great number of sellers.

 

The market is open from 7-10 a.m. each Wednesday and Saturday.

 

The market location is the parking lot of the extension office.

 

For more information, contact the Dawson County Extension Office at (706) 265-2442. Clark Beusse is the Dawson County Extension Agent.

 

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