All About Soil Testing

Harmony Gardens Landscaping offers complete basic soil testing for their lawn and flowerbed customers. We test pH (acidity/alkalinity), N (nitrogen), P (phosphorous), K (potassium) to individualize lawn and flowerbed care programs to meet specific needs. We also offer just pH testing to assess acidity and alkalinity of soil to determine if there is a need to adjust. This can be very important in weed control as well as grass health.

soil testing in ottawa areaAll plants need food nutrients for healthy growth. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium play a vital role in plant growth just as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and protein do in our health.

pH levels control how well plants and grass utilize the nutrients available in the soil. All plants including grass and weeds have a pH preference so it is vital to know the pH level of your soil. One can then adjust pH accurately and effectively to encourage healthy lawns, flowerbeds and discourage weeds. Normal soil pH is 6.5 to 7.0. Dandelions thrive in soil pH levels of 7.5 and it is quite noticeable that dandelions are considerably less in soils with a pH of 4.8 than in soils with a pH of 6.4 and quite extensive in soils with a pH of 7.5. Crabgrass grows at either pH.

N stands for nitrogen which promotes growth and that deep lush green in lawns that draws the admiring looks. Deficiency causes stunted growth and yellow leaves and grass blades.

Crabgrass likes poor soil and bare patches. Clover and black medic are signs that lawn is nitrogen poor. Nitrogen is synonymous with plant nutrition. It is directly responsible for producing leaf growth and green leaves. Too much nitrogen causes overabundant foliage with delayed flowering making the plant subject to disease and its fruit is of poor quality.

P stands for phosphorous which is important in establishing new or renewed lawns because it promotes the development of strong healthy roots, seed development, plant maturity and normal green colouration. It is a major constituent of plant genetics and seed development. A deficiency causes stunted growth and seed sterility. Phosphorous aids plant maturity, increases the seed yield, increases fruit development, increases vitamin content and aids the plant’s resistance to disease and winterkill. Phosphorous aids in grass being resistant to disease and winterkill.

steps to create a natural gardenK stands for potassium which strengthens the plant promoting carbohydrate and protein synthesis aiding in growth, stem strength and cold hardiness. It will improve the colour and flavour of fruit. Plants deficient in potassium are usually stunted and have poorly developed root systems. Leaves are spotted, curled and appear dried out at the edges.

N,P,K are the major plant nutrients in fertilizers. Bags of fertilizer are marked with three(3) numbers that denote how much N-P-K are in a particular brand.

When to test your soil:

Soil should be tested periodically throughout the growing season but it is especially recommended to test before planting in spring and when preparing beds in the fall. If you feel your plants or lawn are not growing well a soil test may be helpful. We recommend that soil tests be done every spring to specifically individualize lawn care programs.

Contact Harmony Gardens today at 613-838-4066 or fill out our request a quote form »