Here in Florida, our lawns are everything to us. With our year-round wonderful weather, Floridians use their outdoor spaces more than most people in the county. So it makes sense that we want our lawns to be healthy, green, and most of all, weed-free. The most important step to take in making sure your lawn is healthy is by getting a soil test done. Soil testing is easy and it tells you vital information about the makeup of your soil, what it’s lacking, and what you need to add so your grass can thrive.
Why Get a Soil Test?
Lawn care is all about being in tune with what your grass and other plants need. Not every yard is the same and not every part of your yard is the same either. This is why getting a soil test done is so important. Most people know that they should fertilize their lawn but they skip this crucial step. In doing so, they have no idea what they are putting on their lawn and if they even need it. Getting a soil test done will not only let you know precisely what you need but it will also save you some money.
Check Your pH
One thing you will learn from a soil test is the pH balance of your soil. The soil pH balance is a measure of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Soil pH is measured on a scale from 1 to 14. The ideal pH balance is in the middle at about 7. Any measurement below 7 is considered acidic while anything above is considered alkaline. When these levels are out of whack it can cause serious problems for your grass and plants. Getting a breakdown of what is in your soil can help you choose plants that are better suited for your yard.
Correcting Acidic Soil
Soils that are too acidic reduce the effectiveness of any fertilizer you try to apply. Acidic soils also create opportunities for thatch, weeds, and diseases. To correct acidic soils, an application of garden lime is all you need. The best time to apply lime in Florida is in the fall because it is most readily available, however, it can be applied any time of the year.
Correcting Alkaline Soil
Alkaline soils are more common in the southwestern and central parts of the United States. When soil pH is above a 7 it can prevent plants from taking in nutrients. An application of sulfur can bring your soil pH back down to optimal levels. Organic compost from your compost bin can also increase the soil acidity.
When Should I Get My Soil Tested?
You can get your soil tested any time of the year as long as the ground isn’t frozen or wet. It is recommended to get your soil tested every 3-4 years. Vegetable gardens should be tested every 2-3 years.
How To Perform A Soil Test
The first step of getting an accurate soil test of your Florida yard is to draw up a map of your property or the area you want to test. Like we mentioned before, your yard’s soil isn’t uniform. You need to take soil samples from different areas of your yard to get an accurate measurement. For example, your front yard, back yard, side yard, shady areas, sunny areas, wet areas, and dry areas will all have different soil compositions that affect your plant’s growth. Knowing what your yard is made up of will help you to choose an appropriate fertilizer that fits the needs of your lawn.
Get Lawn Care From The Pros At Lawn Master
At Lawn Master, we have been improving the quality of lawns in our community for over 30 years. We know that every yard is unique and we treat them that way. When you sign up for our lawn care service you can rest assured that you are going to receive the best care with the best products.