What’s the secret to raising healthy, carefree vegetables and flowers? Great soil. How can you tell if your soil has what plants need? A soil test. When you send a soil sample to a lab, you get a detailed analysis of soil nutrients and you find out about deficiencies. That’s valuable information. Now you can also assess your soil for even more critical qualities, using a system developed by a team of farmers and soil scientists in Oregon. The methods are quite simple and the only supplies you need are a few items commonly found around the house.
The system, called Willamette Valley Soil Quality Guide, was designed with farmers in mind. But it can be used by gardeners in most zones across the country, says Richard Dick, Ph.D., codeveloper of the system and a professor of soil science at Oregon State University. [ … continue reading ]