Soil testing could be the key to a successful lawn and garden

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Fertilizer can help your lawn and garden grow, but using the right type for your soil can make a world of difference. The only way to know what you need is to do a soil test.

It's a pretty simple process. Dig down 2 to 4 inches in several spots in your yard or garden and collect several soil samples scattered over the entire square footage. Put all of the samples together in a small bag.

Your county cooperative extension office can help get everything together and send it to the soil testing lab at the University of Georgia or Clemson University for analysis.

"There's a lot of different things you'd look for but generally, we're looking for a basic soil sample, which will give you what the pH of the soil is and what the major nutrients are,"  said Campbell Vaughn, UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Richmond County.

Having the right pH is very important and can be the root of many lawn and garden problems in the CSRA.

"If you get the pH too low, essentially your fertilizer does not work," explained Vaughn. "The plant doesn't have the ability to absorb the fertilizer so you can put as much fertilizer as you want out and the plant is not going to take it in."

Lab results will suggest how much if any lime to put down and what type of fertilizer to use for your lawn or garden.

For more information on soil testing in Georgia, click here.

For more information on soil testing in South Carolina, click here.

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