Just like our bodies, plants are healthiest when they’re given the right amount of nutrients. Yes, water and sunlight are essential parts of establishing plants, but plant health also depends on the quality of soil in which your plants are growing in.
So, how do you know if your soil is supplying the right amount of nutrients for your plants? There are two ways to know this: buy a home soil test kit or send a soil sample to an official testing center. We recommend the latter for the most accurate results.
Soil testing tip: Most county extension offices can provide sample bags, allowing you to easily mail in your soil sample.
Collecting a soil sample from your land for soil testing
is the first step in ensuring your plants thrive.
Once you receive the results of your soil test, you can determine what nutrients can be added to aid the growth of any new or existing plantings. The soil test results will tell you the proper rates of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium your soil needs, if any. To make things even easier, fertilizer bags will indicate the percentage of these nutrients on the label.
Before you begin adding fertilizer to your soil, make sure to avoid these common misuses:
- Using the wrong fertilizer formula – Adding the wrong formula to your soil will further distort the balance of nutrients, which can create the perfect environment for weeds and diseases to grow.
- Applying too much fertilizer – A heavy application of fertilizer can actually do more harm than good, burning your lawn and harming any plants you may have in the surrounding area.
- Applying too little fertilizer – An uneven or sparse application of fertilizer won’t impact the NPK in your soil as much as you may need.
Too much fertilizer can lead to burns in the lawn. Parts of this lawn have turned
yellow and will eventually turn brown from damage from over fertilization.
We’re always available and happy to help you with your individual fertilizer questions and needs. Reach out to us any time!