Soil Testing & Analysis

Why have your soil tested?

Does it really matter?

Dirt is dirt right?

 

Soil is the foundation that all lawns and gardens are built on. Without knowing what’s there you can’t build the strong foundation on which to produce a quality lawn.



Here’s the dirt on dirt:

Let’s start with pH.  It’s the measure of a soil’s Acidity or Alkalinity. When the soil pH is not in the optimal range of 6.5 to 7.5 then it has trouble absorbing nutrients that may be plentiful in the soil. It’s like being in a boat in the middle of the ocean but you don’t have any water to drink. The ideal range will allow most of the nutrients to become available to the grass.

 

This is step one. Next you need to be sure the soil microbes are healthy in the soil as well. These little microbes strip the micronutrients in the table above from the soil and when they die the plants then can absorb them at that point. A healthy population of soil microbes is very important to the health of your lawn and garden.

 

Plants actually exude sugars (glucose) they make into the soil to feed the soil microbes so they will flourish and strip the necessary micro-nutrients from the soil for the plant to use. The plants also produce oxalic acid to gather some of these nutrients on its own but it’s a far less efficient way to obtain them.Another partner plants work with in the soil is a fungus called Mycorrhizae. The glucose the roots exude also feeds the mycelium of this fungus which in turn expands the surface area of the roots by as much as 120 times and transfers water and nutrients to the plant roots through their filaments.

 

Inoculating the soil with this fungus will improve the water absorption of the grass by 100 times making it more draught resistant, and gives the plants roots access to far more micronutrients – some of which are insoluble and often out of reach for a regular root system.

Completing a soil test lets us know the actual soil conditions for your property so we can know what to best recommend for your lawn’s needs.

To do this, we will take soil samples from different areas of your lawn and send them to an independent laboratory for testing. This process on average can take 2-4 weeks.

Once we receive the results, we’ll email you a copy of the detailed report along with a simplified version, breaking down the needs of your soil and what steps we recommend for improving these issues as well as the overall quality of your lawn.

Remember: soil is the building blocks of your lawn and to have a healthy lawn, you need to start with the roots and the base (soil) to have a great yard.

Soil Amendments

These kinds of services are offered primarily to those following a soil test, assuming the results show there is either too much or too little in the soil.

The soil amendments we provide include the following:

Lime Treatment (used to increase the pH level of your soil):

Lime is used to increase the pH level of your soil when required. Soil along cedar hedges and around evergreens can become too acidic over time (pH levels of 1-6). Grass can’t survive well in these areas primarily because the acidic soil prevents it from accessing any nutrients.You can fertilize all you want, but the grass will continue to starve and die. By simply adjusting the pH to the proper level (approximately 7) you’ll be giving the grass in these areas the food needed to grow. Lime can be applied at any time during the growing season.

Sulfur Treatment (used to decrease the pH level in your soil):

If the soil in your lawn is overly alkaline (pH levels of 8-14), adding sulfur can help adjust the pH to a more neutral level (pH of about 7). Sulfur reacts with the soil to form a diluted sulfuric acid, lowering the pH. Sulfur should only be used when a pH test confirms that it is required.

Gypsum for Pet Urine:

There’s an added benefit of giving heavy clay soils more porosity allowing water, air and nutrients access to the grass roots below.

Gypsum for Salt Damage:

To neutralize road salt damage in the spring, and to neutralize pet urine
to avoid the risk of it damaging your lawn.


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Soil analysis test is done by a third party lab in Guelph, Ontario. It’s how we build lawns from the ground up – through science.