Do I Need to Test My Soil? Why?

Do I Need to Test My Soil? Why?

August 31, 2019

Have you ever tested your soil? If the answer is no, you’re missing out on valuable information about the very ground your home is built upon. Maybe your plants aren’t doing well and you can’t figure out why, or you’re curious about the presence of pollutants or chemicals. Soil testing can unlock those secrets—and reveal potential solutions.

What Soil Testing Reveals

Basic soil testing kits—the kind you can get from your typical home and garden store—will tell you your soil’s pH, the level of organic matter and the levels of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous. Plus, you’ll be able to visually evaluate the basic texture of your soil. Is it rocky? Clay? Full of silt and sand? These are all important to know when deciding how you’ll landscape the area.

Advanced soil testing, however, opens up even more options. An advanced soil test will tell you all of the above, plus it can reveal the existence of pesticides, pollutants, harmful chemicals, micronutrients, biological activity and even its salinity. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to figure out why your plants are struggling, and how you can work the land for better results. If you need advanced soil testing in Hudson, CO, make sure to contact High Plains Engineering & Design, LLC.

The Benefits of Testing Your Soil

When you know what your soil is made of, you know how to fix it. Some common solutions that homeowners use include:

  • Organic matter: You can always add manure or compost to your soil, which helps in most situations.
  • Solving pH problems: For high pH soil, add compost, manure or mulch. If it’s too low for your particular plants, adding lime will help. Most plants like a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, and most turf grasses prefer something between 5.5 and 6.5.
  • Fertilize: You’ll be able to specifically target what kind of fertilizer to use, once you know which micronutrients are missing.
  • Gypsum: When your soil has high salinity, you can add gypsum and leach the soil with good quality water.

Advanced soil tests are a little more expensive than at-home kits, but you’ll find the initial investment is worth it when you no longer waste money and time trying to revive lackluster plants or buy new ones. After you test your soil the first time, you’ll want to test it again in a few months to make sure your solutions are working—even if your plants are doing better already, it’s good to know exactly where the soil is at and how it can further be improved.

High Plains Engineering & Design, LLC has provided a range of excellent solutions to any type of challenges in the geotechnical, structural, environmental and civil engineering realms for over a decade. We’ve been in business since 2006 and can tackle any challenge in these areas. On top of soil sampling and soil testing in Hudson, CO, we also offer percolation testing, and can design foundations and septic systems. Call our team today to find out more information and get an easy, free estimate!

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