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In the Garden This Week: Why Have Your Soil Tested?

Get your soil tested for better lawns and gardens.

The most important task to get your garden and lawn ready in the spring is to get a soil test. Whether you are starting afresh or renovating last year's garden or lawn, it is a good idea to test the soil.

Most local Rhode Island soils tend to be acidic in varying degrees. For texture, we have a high amount of silt or sand in our soil.

In testing soil, the measurement used is called pH. The pH is determined on a 14-point scale with a reading of 7 being considered neutral between the extremities of acidity (below 7) and alkalinity (above 7). Because our soil is generally acidic, it often calls for the addition of lime to raise the pH. The amount of lime to be added can best be determined by the pH test. The pH condition of the soil is one of the most important environmental conditions that affects the quality of the growth of all plants.

Soil testing is a procedure that helps determine one of the elements of your soil. It is one of the best ways to determine the healthy survivability of your lawn and garden.

The URI Master Gardeners are offering free soil test and information on all aspects of gardening for Newport County residents at Paradise Park in Middletown (Paradise and Prospect Avenues) every Sunday from noon till 2 p.m. (rain or shine) until the end of September.

For information, contact gardeninginformationri@gmail.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

spa lover May 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I moved into an old apt building on upper Broadway. When I tested the paint for lead it came out positive. So before planting a garden I tested the soil. It was in the high and dangerous catagory for lead! Needless to say, I am container gardening this year.

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