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How to Soil Test Your Lawn to Help It Become Green and Healthy

Updated on February 13, 2019

You can only help your lawn when you know what it needs. Testing the soil is easier than you think. It will greatly increase the chances of you giving your lawn the right applications to help it get on track to being green and healthy.

Soil Testing Your Lawn

Close up of lawn to have a soil test conducted on it.
Close up of lawn to have a soil test conducted on it.

Why You Should Test Your Soil

The purpose and importance of a soil test is to determine which nutrients you soil needs and then add those necessary supplements to the grass.

You can pickup a soil test in a number of different places such as a local nursery. The best soil-testing kits are ones where you send in the kit to a professional who will properly examine it for you. They may even offer additional information to help you as you seek to freshen up your lawn maintenance.

We'll assume you choose to do the latter for the remainder for this article.

In order to get the best results from a soil test you really do need to acquire the best soil sample. In terms of what tools you'll need, a corer or a shovel will work. You will also need a container.

It is integral that you use clean tools that are not rusted, for example. You want to avoid messing up the soil sample results you get because of a rusty tool.

Soil-Testing Step-By-Step

For our clients, we tend to stick to taking a soil sample from every 1,000 square feet of lawn. It's easy math that way. This means that if you have a yard that is 10,000 square feet, then it's optimal that you randomly take samples from 10 areas of the grass.

Head over to your first soil sample location and clean it off. Remember, we want the best soil so that our results are as accurate as possible.

Using your shovel (or corer), insert it into the soil. Scoop it into the container. Go to the remaining 9 other locations in your lawn to take samples from.

Once all the soil samples have been collected mix everything together. Be sure to be as thorough with this step as you can be.

Fill a heavy plastic bag with at least a couple cups of soil (or the sample container you received from the lawn care professional).

Drop off or mail the sample to the address where they will test it. You will likely need to wait anywhere from a week to several weeks to get your results.

The results are worth the wait.

What To Do With The Results

Once the soil test results come back to you, follow the instructions. What is nice about the results is that you have a custom lawn care plan you can carry out tailored for your yard.

You will likely need a fertilizer spreader to apply the needed nutrients to your lawn. If there are any additional instructions you may also need some other lawn & garden tools to finish the job.

One Final Step

One final step to the soil-testing process is to apply some top dressing soil to the lawn. This is about an inch or two of a soil and sand combination.

Top dressing contains valuable nitrogen and microbes that will help improve your soil's level of health. You will likely need to spread out the soil over the lawn using a rake. Make sure to smooth out any ridges or break up any lumps of soil


© 2019 Liberty Lawn Maintenance

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