Submit Soil Samples Before Peak Season to Avoid Fee
Healthy soil is the foundation of successful gardening. The first step to cultivating healthy soil is having your soil tested to determine its pH and nutrient levels, but you are running out of time to submit samples for testing free of charge. A peak season fee of $4 per sample will begin Nov. 26 and will apply to all samples submitted to the NC Department of Agriculture’s soil testing lab through March 31.
A soil test report will tell you if you need to add lime to raise soil pH, and which nutrients your soil needs to support healthy plant growth. Lime is made by grinding limestone, a naturally occurring rock high in calcium, and should be mixed into the soil several months before planting to raise soil pH. Nutrient additions suggested by the soil test report can be supplied with organic or conventional fertilizers.
Lawns and gardens in the piedmont should be sampled every 3-4 years. Samples can be submitted anytime of the year. Fall is an ideal time to sample to ensure you have the results back in plenty of time to prepare for the spring planting season. You can pick up boxes and forms for soil testing from any Cooperative Extension office. Learn more about how, when, and where to sample here: http://chatham.ces.ncsu.edu/soil-testing-for-lawns-and-gardens/
If you have submitted soil samples in the past 3-4 years but have lost the results, you can pull up your report online here: http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pals/
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