click here to return to index page

Soil Testing:                                
updated 01/09/09

You wouldn't go to the pharmacy and order some medicine with out a prescription.

Likewise a soil test is valuable to determine the balance of nutrients available.
The report gives advice on how much and what to add for optimum plant health.

Most garden books recommend periodic soil testing. Samples are sent to the lab, I have used both the U of Maine and the U of Mass services.  (see my  links page).

Interesting alternative or confirmation is the use of "indicator" plants. For vegetable gardening the plant Pig Weed  (Lambs quarters, wild spinach)(info, picture) is an indicator of perfect garden soil when abundant.

I have been exploring adjusting the nutrient level in lawns to discourage some types of plants (ground ivy) and encourage others (grass). (with some success)

also - good idea not to overstimulate plant grow - to much nitrogen in the lawn and you have to mow to often. Same goes for trees and shrubs (more trimming). Excessive and succulent growth is like a dinner bell for insects (here's a nice fat leaf to chew on).

This proceedure has work well in many of my newton organic lawns.