Home Lawn and Garden Soil Test Mailer

July 21, 2022

Video Transcript

Hmm. Hi, I'm Nate Walton. I'm a Consumer Horticulture Educator with MSU Extension. We're here today at Zibi Mian Farm to talk about plants gardening and your soil test kits. Our home lawn and garden soil test mailer is a really useful tool to help you understand the kind of soil you're working with. You can order from the MSU bookstore at Dot. You can also get it at your local county extension office. What it comes with here is all the things you need to take a soil sample from your yard or garden includes a form for you to fill out some information exactly what types of plants you'll be growing. Your results will come back by e mail and those results will be tailored to your selection. This also has really good instructions on how to collect your soil sample. I'm going to talk a little bit about that in the video today. It comes with this little plastic envelope and this is really a key piece of equipment here. This is what you're going to put your soil sample into. Other equipment that you might need some, a tool to collect the soil with. This is like a soil knife. You can use trowel. Generally you want to do about ten samples representative of the soil where you're growing. You're going to mix those together, plastic bucket, it's a great thing to do that in you're looking for about a cup of soil to put into your sample. It doesn't have to be exact, does not need the sample to be fresh when you send it down there. So that's good to let it dry out if needed. Seal that bag up, Mason, tight, squeeze in the extra air out of it and it's ready to go into the envelope and be mailed down to campus. This is the postage paved envelope that comes with the soil test kit. You will put your soil sample into this seal, that and you don't need a stamp or anything, it's ready to go, put it in your mailbox or take it down to your post office that gets sent to the lab and that gets tested for you. It takes usually about two weeks for you to get back your results. With those results come the top three macronutrients that your plants are going to need. That's very important especially for your vegetables. Phosphorus levels, your potassium levels. Magnesium level, the ph or the acidity of the soil is another really important measurement that they'll do on your soil sample. And we'll help you determine what plants will do well there. And if you might need to make changes, most of our garden plants like a ph that's about neutral or seven or slightly lower than that. You would find out right away from that test kit if your ph is higher or lower than you'd want to keep your plants happy and healthy. And then there are things you can do to adjust that if needed. It also will tell you the type of soil you have, your amount of organic matter. Then we give you recommendations specific for the crop that you want to grow, if it's vegetables, or if you're getting your lawn tested or for fruit, et cetera. The recommendations will give you traditional commercial fertilizer and organic methods. What's smart about that? You're being an intentional gardener and you're not just simply guessing, because plants are only going to be using so much of the nutrients. And the unnecessary nutrients, such as phosphorus, is mobile and that actually gets washed away down into our waterways. Thanks for watching and good luck with your garden this year. A.