Soil testing

It’s never too late to have garden soil tested because the results can guide fertilization for 3-4 years, even if you change crops, such as from flowers to edibles. Choosing fertilizers based on the test can save you money, increase your garden success and protect the environment. See MSU Extension Horticulture Educator Gary Heilig’s video for an example of how it is done in Ingham County. (Note that soil testing costs vary by county.)

Your local garden center may be participating in a “Don’t Guess…Soil Test” promotion with your county MSU Extension office, or you can work with your county MSUE office, or even send samples directly to the MSU soil lab.

Your task is to collect a good, representative sample from a dozen or more places around the garden or lawn area of concern and mix them together. Air dry about 2 cups of the mixture to send in. Obtain or download the information sheet to fill out and submit with the sample. See the lab website, or the Monroe MSUE instructions for taking and submitting samples: for more information.

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