Soil Testing - Knowledgebase Question

Oxford, PA
Avatar for gally
Question by gally
November 19, 1999
We've just moved into a new home and the results of the contractor's seeding have left much to be desired. In looking through your FAQ's a soil test is usually recommended. Where can I find information about who can do the soil test in my area? My suspicion is that the soil is mostly clay. Am I going to have to wait several years before the soil is healthy enough to produce a nice lawn and vegetable garden?

Answer from NGA
November 19, 1999
Your local County Extension should be able to help you with the soil tests and with interpreting the results. Garden soil can be improved sufficiently to produce good results fairly quickly; a lawn area can be a bit problematic in that a larger area is involved but it is always easier to "do it right the first time". When you consult with the County Extension (696-3500) about the soil, also ask them about suggested grass seed varieties for your specific area. You might also find some good basic guidance in the books "Gardening for Dummies"by Michael MacCaskey (ISBN 1-56884-644-4) and "Lawn Care for Dummies" by Lance Walheim (ISBN 0-7645-5077-2) which goes into some detail about the soil needs for establishing a healthy lawn as well as ongoing maintenance and care.

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