Soil testing provides an estimate of the plant-available nutrients in the soil and is an essential tool for a sound fertilization program. Periodic soil testing will help to correct nutrient deficiencies, avoid excess fertilizer applications and maintain a healthy lawn.
A routine soil fertility test (pH, neutralized acidity, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, organic matter, and action exchange capacity) is recommended under the following circumstances:
- Before establishing a new lawn, whether from seed, sod, or sprigs.
- Every three years on established lawns (late summer).
- Annually when attempting to correct a nutrient deficiency or change the soil pH.
- When fertilizers containing phosphate or potash have been used on a regular basis for a number of years.