April 7, 2023 – Having trouble with your lawn or flower bed not producing the way you’d like? The problem may be with your soil, which has to provide all the elements plants need for normal growth. A soil test can tell you whether your soil is making those elements available to your plants, and now is the time to have your soil analyzed. It takes 3-6 months to neutralize the soil after a lime application.
The most crucial measurement is pH level, which is a measurement of the soil’s hydrogen (acid forming) ion activity. East Texas soils tend to have a lower pH, meaning they are generally more acidic; areas with less rainfall usually have higher pH levels and alkaline soil. It’s important to know your soil’s pH level because it can affect your plants’ ability to take up and use the elements it needs.
Soil pH can be altered with fertilizers and soil conditioners; however, you should know what kind of plants you want to grow so you’ll know what pH is best for them. For instance, azaleas and camellias like a low pH.
Soil test kits can be picked up from the Hopkins County Extension Office. A detailed report addressing specific elements in your soil can be obtained through Texas A&M University. The soil testing kit from the County Extension Office has information and addresses for ordering those tests; they cost $10-$15 each, depending on how detailed you want the test to be.