Soil Testing More Important Than Ever in 2022

— Written By Donna Teasley and last updated by
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Have you shopped for fertilizer this year? The prices are out of sight-about 5 times higher than last year! Fertilizers have always been affordable and gardeners have used them generously, and many times needlessly, throughout the years. But times have changed. This traditional product is now a luxury item and should be used sparingly and only when necessary. Most gardeners use too much fertilizer and now is the time to cut back on fertilizer use.

The first thing to do is to make sure the soil pH is within an acceptable range for the crop you are growing. pH measure the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. When the pH is too low or too high plants can’t access fertilizer that is in the soil. You can put out all the fertilizer in the world but if the pH is off, nutrients won’t be available to your plants and crop yields and growth will be compromised.

There is a simple solution to this problem. A soil test is a very inexpensive way to get an accurate reading of your soil’s pH. The results of this test will give you exact rates of lime and fertilizer that your particular crop needs, whether it is a lawn, vegetable or flower garden. The test is free during most months. Come by the Extension office located at 130 Ammons Dr. in Morganton and pick up a soil test kit. Fill out a form, follow the directions on how to take your samples and mail it to the soil testing lab in Raleigh. Your results will be sent online in an amazingly short time. If you need help interpreting the results an agent at the Extension office can assist you.

It’s time to stop applying unneeded fertilizers to the garden and lawn. Get your soil pH back to the optimum range so that when you do apply fertilizer it will be available to your plants. It’ll also save you time and MONEY! That’s a great combination.