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Soil Sampling Your Garden

Soil Sampling Your GardenTaking a soil sample in your garden is a crucial step in having a successful gardening season.  Your soil test results will show you the levels of key essential nutrients for plant growth and development in your garden and will suggest appropriate fertilizer recommendations from your results.  These test results are important because not only can you be nutrient deficient you can also over apply nutrients to your garden which can deter plant growth and development.

You will want to take a sample from the top 6 inches of soil as that is where most of the roots concentrate and take up the nutrients needed.  You will only need about one pint of soil for the sample to get accurate results.  In order to get a good representation of available nutrients you will want to take a sample in 5-10 areas, depending on the size of your garden.  When sampling you will want to make sure that you are not taking a sample of plant debris or manure piles and remove any plant materials from the soil surface, so you will receive accurate results of your garden as a whole. 

Place your samples in your bucket and mix thoroughly.  After you have the soil samples mixed together, put the soil in your sample bag up to the fill line, which will be about 1 pint of soil.  Make sure to label your sample with all of the correct information that is requested from the lab such as name, address, sample number and location. 

Starting off with a soil sample will put you in a great position for a successful gardening season.  Last spring I created a video that will walk you through how to soil sample your garden.  To watch the video visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82iLG6H7R9k&t=3s

If you have any questions about taking a soil sample or interpreting your results contact the NDSU Extension office and I would be happy to help you.    

Photo Source:  https://pixabay.com/photos/soil-compost-farm-field-plant-918006/ (downloaded 4/5/21)

 

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