Why is Soil Important?
Soil is critical for life. It is a precious resource that can be managed to provide nutrients for plant growth, absorb and hold rainwater, filter and buffer potential pollutants, serve as a firm foundation for homes and a growing medium for crops. Soil also contributes to the larger picture of biodiversity by providing habitat for billions of organisms. These organisms and their interactions, affect everything from soil nutrient cycles to soil structure and these characteristics impact the way we use and manage our soil.
Why Test Your Soil?
Understanding what you’re working with is the first step in managing your soil. If you’re having a hard time managing weeds, your plants aren’t responding to nutrient applications or you’re just getting poor yields, a test will help you understand the best action to take.
Testing provides information on available nutrients, soil pH, and if requested, how much organic matter is in your soil. Finally, if you’re intensively using your soil, a test every 3-5 years (more often if you’re fertilizing with manure) will help you adapt your management plan to maintain healthy and functioning soils.