By Blair Thomas
Ready your garden for spring by learning what is in your soil. The University of Tennessee Extension offers an affordable basic test so gardeners can learn the proper amount of lime and fertilizer needed for lawns and gardens. Here’s how to get your soil tested:
- Get a soil sample box from your county’s UT Extension agent, or use a sandwich bag with a zip seal.
- Fill the box or bag with at least one cup of soil collected from several areas of the yard or garden. Dig down six inches for your sample.
- Enclose a check for $7 made out to the University of Tennessee, and send the package or deliver it to the Soil, Plant and Pest Center, 5201 Marchant Drive, Nashville, Tennessee, 37211. Your soil will go through a nine-step process in the lab and will be checked for potassium, phosphorus and other elements.
Your report should arrive in a week or so by email or mail. It will show the phosphorus and potassium levels – you want both to be high. The report will make recommendations for amending the soil to give you a proper balance for a productive crop.
To get your soil tested, visit the UT Extension Soil Testing website.