Soil Testing Services
Soil is analyzed to help guarantee successful planting, to extend and prolong established plants, to help determine whether excessive or insufficient irrigation water is being applied and to help keep plants growing vigorously. Plants in good healthy condition have the ability to tolerate some pests. However, when there are multiple problems, the ability of the plants to outgrow diseases, to remain green, and to survive periods of weather extremes declines rapidly. Soil testing is plant insurance.
OPTIMUM NUTRIENT CONCENTRATION
All nutrients are needed at moderate amounts. Excessive concentrations will cause toxicity while insufficient concentrations will stunt growth. One of the more frequent causes of mediocre growth is too much fertility or the addition of the incorrect product.
Waiting to analyze the soil until discoloration, burned leaves, wilting and diseases occur decreases the probability of successful corrections. Green plants does not necessarily mean that growth conditions are ideal. Green plants may have hidden hunger. Optimum balance of the thirteen essential mineral nutrients, irrigation and environmental factors allow for the proper growth and vigor of the plants. Moderate mineral deficiencies will not cause major changes in the appearance of the tissues, but they can substantially lower the vitality. The worst cases are multiple simultaneously. With critical deficiencies or nutrient toxicities, discoloration follows with a rapid decline of the plant.
Soil testing as a management tool is greatly under utilized. The most recent data for lawns and gardens are from 1987. The frequency of soil testing is the highest in the Southern States where it is one test per about 200 people per year. The per capita rate of soil testing is very low in the Southwestern States. California has a rate of one test per 2,091 people per year while Arizona has a rate of one test per 958 people per year. Ideally, every site should be tested every few years. The frequency of needed soil testing depends upon the amount of irrigation, the quality of irrigation water, the use of nutrients and amendments and the initial soil properties. Testing could help to prevent and solve many problems.