- Is your lawn in bad shape?
- Do your plants lack vigour?
- Are you planning to set up a kitchen garden or dig a new flowerbed?
You need a soil analysis!
It will tell you if your soil has any deficiencies and which products to add to improve its fertility!
Understanding your soil
It is important to understand that your sample must accurately represent the soil you want analyzed. Is it for a garden, front or back yard (or both), for a flowerbed, trees, a hedge, or something else? Soil requirements can vary according to how the area is used. A plot that is intensively gardened will need more fertilizer that a flowerbed with small, slow-growing plants. It’s up to you to determine whether more than one sample is needed.
The area involved is also very important. We will recommend soil amendments based on the size of the area corresponding to each soil sample. This will save you from having to calculate the amount of nutrients to add to your soil. The area can be expressed in feet or metres, whichever’s more convenient for you. You can also choose whether to use natural or conventional products, or both.
Taking a soil sample
Where to sample ?
You should take samples randomly over the entire area for each type of soil use in order to obtain an average soil composition. The following table shows the recommended sampling method for each use.
|Lawn||Per 500 sq. ft. (45 m2)|
|Garden||Per 100 sq. ft. (9 m2)|
|Flowerbed||Per 100 sq. ft. (9 m2)|
|Hedge||Per 100 sq. ft. (9 m2)|
|Tree||Four (4) samples about 3 to 4 ft. (1 m) from the trunk|
How to sample?
We suggest you wear gloves to avoid contaminating the samples.
- Use a trowel or small shovel to dig a hole about 4 to 6 in. deep and collect soil from the bottom.
- Put the soil in a clean pail.
- Repeat the previous steps for each sample required based on the area analyzed (see table).
- Once all the samples for a single type of soil use are mixed in the pail, take your sample and place it in a Ziploc-type bag (at least sandwich size). This is the sample you will take to your Passion Jardins garden centre for analysis.
When to sample?
You can take your samples any time during the active growing season, ideally from two weeks after snow melt to the first fall frosts.
THINGS TO AVOID
You should avoid anything that might skew your results.
- Do not sample immediately after applying fertilizer, manure, or lime; wait at least 2 to 3 weeks.
- Use clean tools (above all, make sure there’s no rust).
- Do not sample before snow melt; wait two weeks after the last snow has gone.
- A single sample for the whole property can bias how the results are interpreted (garden vs. lawn, for example) because the soil’s composition will not be the same over the entire area.
If you have always had good results, a soil analysis can confirm that there are no deficiencies and correct a few minor elements if necessary.
If you are thinking of doing some landscaping, it would be a good idea to have a soil analysis done first because it is easier to correct any problems before or during the work than after everything’s finished.
A soil analysis can help you solve a recurrent problem; in this case an annual soil test is recommended.
If you’re setting up a kitchen garden, your fruit and vegetable production will depend on the fertility of your soil . For a healthy, bountiful harvest, it’s a good idea to analyze your soil first so you can add the necessary plant nutrients.