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When was the last time you tested your soil? It's been too long!

Have you ever tested your soil? If you are making random guesses as to what your trees might need to be healthy, or if there are areas in your landscape where certain plants have struggled, then a soil test can provide some valuable insight and give you clear direction on what amendments to make.

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There are are several types of do-it-yourself testing kits, typically sold at hardware stores and garden centers. These very basic kits most often test for soil pH or the presence of a few main nutrients. To get a more detailed and accurate test result, send a soil sample to a specialized laboratory. The results you receive will not only focus on soil fertility and the nutrients available to plants, but will also make recommendations on what is needed to correct problems. You might learn that your soil is deficient in one or more of the major nutrients.

Nitrogen (N) is crucial to growth and correction of chlorosis or yellowing.
Phosphorus (P) stimulates the root system and promotes flower production.
Potassium (K) strengthens plants overall, making them more resistant to severe heat and cold.

Your recommendations will include indicators of secondary and minor nutrients such as calcium, sulfur, iron and zinc.


Learn more about healthy soil and how it benefits your trees HERE.


Different trees. Different Needs.

Just like any other plant, each tree needs various nutrients and proper soil pH to thrive. Oaks and Redbuds are much more comfortable in the alkaline clay soils found in north central Texas. Japanese Maples, on the other hand, prefer a lower more acidic pH. Tests can indicate soil alkalinity or acidity which is important to know if you're considering growing acid preferring trees, such as dogwoods. If you're dreaming of an edible landscape with fruit trees or berries, you can list these on the test form to get information to understand their specific needs.

The root system of your trees is as extensive as the branches above ground. It's no wonder that the soil they live in is one the most important factors in a healthy landscape. Plants in good health look better, of course, but they're also stronger and better able to resist disease as well as pest infestations. A soil test provides you with the knowledge you need to properly care for your trees, lawn and shrubs.



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Posted: November 2, 2016