Dayside Garden: Testing the soil

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 11:57 AM CDT
Dayside Garden:  Testing the soil story image
Before you add any kind of nutrients to your yard -- a soil test is in order.
Kathryn Daniel/Reporting;   We are here at Woerner Turf and Landscape on Creighton Road in Pensacola.  It is a gorgeous place, you should come by, they have something for everyone.  Beth Bolles from the Escambia County Extension Office joins us with beautiful hibiscus and bonemeal, which I'm assuming they are related."

Beth Bolles/Escambia County Extension Office; "They are related, this is a common nutrient commonly known as phosphorus which is important for us because it is an essential nutrient all plants need.  And we often associate it with blooming plants.  And our soils in Florida tend to be somewhat deficient if we've never fertilized before.  But we just wanted caution everybody, phosphorus tends to hang around, so make sure you soil test first, before you apply extra like this bone meal, which is all phosphorus, with the idea that you're going to get all of these wonderful, blooming plants that just bloom all summer long."

Kathryn Daniel; "How do you know if you need it in your landscape?"

Beth Bolles; "What we would do is actually take a lab analysis and send our soil off to get it analyzed.  It will tell us exactly how much phosphorus you have.  The issue is, we often need it and something like this would be good around blooming plants cause that flower takes so much energy and the phosphorus helps that process.  But if we have enough, we're not going to promote more growth, we're not gonna get more flowers by adding more.
And this is a polluting nutrient, so we want to make sure we need it before we apply it."

Kathryn Daniel; "How do you do a soil test?"
Beth Bolles; "We would actually collect the soil.  We have a kit at the Extension Office, you can mail it to the University, they'll do it for you for seven dollars, so fairly cheap.  And get it back in a week and a half, and you'll know exactly what you need."

Kathryn Daniel; "So just come by the Extension Office on Stefani Road  and get your soil test and then you'll know."

Beth Bolles; "Then you'll know if you need the extra bone meal or the other phosphorus fertilizers in order to grow something like this beautiful tropical hibiscus."

Kathryn Daniel; "Do you have to do it in separate areas of your yard, or is one for the whole yard probably going to be enough?"

Beth Bolles; "If you do a soil test, you want to make sure you don't have any areas that are different.  If it's all the same, you can do one sample.  If you know one area is different or something has happened, make sure that's a separate sample."

Kathryn Daniel; "Okay, good to know. 
Beth Bolles; "We are, so it's time to think about what to do when we get maybe a few cooler days."

Kathryn Daniel; "Oh, here's hoping, here's hoping. 

Dayside Garden: Testing the soil

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