Why You Need A Soil Test Before You Start Your Vegetable Garden

start a garden | black homesteader


At the time I am writing this, the Spring season is just getting started in my area. This year, I wanted to really maximize the growth of my garden. One of the ways I am doing this, is by getting a soil test. Getting one was super simple in my area. The University of Georgia tests your soil for about $12 with about a weeks turnaround. You can search the local colleges in your area to do the same. After getting my soil test, I plan to use when I am planting to amend the soil and achieve the best possible conditions to make my plants thrive.

What is the Purpose of A Soil Test and Why is Soil Sampling Necessary?

Healthy plants, require healthy soil, and a soil test will provide you with the information to make your vegetable garden thrive.  Knowing exactly what you need takes out a lot of the guess work if something is wrong with your plants. This only tests for the soil of course, however, pests, water and other factors can be the culprit if you aren’t having any luck. At least with these tests, you will know it isn’t your soil.

Soil testing also cuts down on the overuse of fertilizer which can run off into local water sources and cause harm to the environment. 

When Should You Test Your Soil?

About a month before your growing season, try to get your test done if you can. This way you can add what you need to your soil and allow it to mix in a little bit before you get started. You can test at really any time they are available and amend your soil later as well, but best to know before you get started, or waste any money.

What Does Your Soil Test Mean?

My soil test was so in depth. It told me exactly how much nutrients were in and weren’t in my soil. It also told me what to add, and recommended vegetables I could grow. The first picture below. You can see it’s rather involved, and tells your exactly what you need.

soil test

The second portion of their test was the recommendations of what I should grow. This of course is based on my area. 

soil test

There were four full pages of this report, but I just wanted to show you the main information. This information is so valuable to really maximizing your garden yields. Do a simple search to find where to get a soil test near you before you grow next time to grow more, and help your plants really thrive.

soil test

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