This is the time of year when a lot of us aren`t thinking about the gardening season. Fall and winter can be great times to have your soil tested to make sure your plants are getting the best they can. It can take some time for soil amendments to work with changing the soil`s deficiencies. This will give you time to correct anything if needed before spring planting begins. It just requires a couple of things that can be found around the home usually.
All you really need is a small spade, a table spoon, measuring cup and some plastic lunch baggies. There are soil testing kits sold at gardening stores but don`t give you good results as a certified lab would. Start by digging a small hole in the area you are testing. Dig down about 4-6 in. to get the best results. Use the table spoon to gather some soil from the hole that was dug. Continue this process mixing all the soil together at the end so it makes about two cups, when measured out. Seal up the bag and label the bag with your name and contact information. All that`s left to do now is drop at a local county extension office. A detailed explanation of the soil test results will be sent to you explaining what needs to be addressed. A good soil makes plants feel at home.