PSA Soil Sample Website Q & A
Q. How do I take or collect a good soil sample?
A. See directions Here
Q. What is the purpose of ‘Core Depth’?
A. Core Depth is used to indicate soil compaction. The goal is NOT to see how far you can get the soil profiler into the ground but to always use the same amount of pressure thus establishing a relative relationship between all the soils you sample. Always use the lowest number on the data collection form.
Q. What is ‘Thatch’?
A. Thatch is the layer of un-decomposed organic matter (roots, grass clipping, leaves, etc.) often found on top of the soil. It is an indicator of biological activity (or lack of) within the soil . . . the more thatch the less biology. The ‘Thatch’ measurement is not only important for turf tests but for trees and shrubs as their root systems are often under or adjacent to turf areas. Always use the largest number on the data collection form.
Q. How to submit samples for Tissue Testing
A. One of the drop-down ‘Testing for:’ options is ‘Tissue.’ Our lab can perform tissue testing but there are certain processing & shipping requirements that must be followed to ensure accurate test results. Collect the sample(s) the same day you ship them which must be on Mondays or Tuesdays . . . assuming there are no holidays in that time frame. Place the sample(s) between sheets of paper towels which are then placed in a plain paper bag (think lunch bag). Then place that bag in a box or shipping envelope and ship ‘Overnight’ for delivery the next day. The results will be emailed to you within ten business days.
Q. What is ‘Root Depth”?
A. This measurement only applies for samples when testing for ‘Turf’ and provides an indication of compaction.
Q. How long can I hold soil samples before shipping them?
A. While it is best to ship them as soon after collection as possible, the nutrient levels will not significantly change once the soil is collected since there is no demand being made from any root systems.
Q. Is there more than one type of soil test?
A. All Soil Tests …
Q. What would I see in a lawn that would indicate I need a soil test?
A. Symptoms of Sick Soil (as indicated by your lawn)
Q. What would I look for on my trees or shrubs that would indicate I need a soil test?
A. Symptoms of Sick Soil (as indicated by your trees and shrubs)
Q. Are there things that I may not be able to see that might indicate that I should get a soil test?
A. Good Reasons for Soil Testing
Q. What will the results look like?
A. Soil Test Results
Q. How long does the process take?
A. Approximately 2 weeks
Q. If the soil test results indicate I need to put something on my lawn, trees, or shrubs, will I understand what is required and where I can get the products?
A. The PSA Report & Recommendation are very specific as to the required product and the amount of product to apply. Some of the products are available from any garden center. If you can’t locate a particular product, a company called Nature’s Pro, LLC has all of the products available and ships throughout the United States. Of course, you can always call someone from our helpful staff for further clarification and specific product recommendations.
Q. Are the products very costly?
A. Some, like lime or gypsum, for instance, are not costly at all. Some of the other products are a little more costly initially, but the results obtained from following the recommendations include healthier soil and healthier plants which are less costly to maintain in the long run including fewer pesticide applications . . . maybe even none. Depending on the size of the area, all products can easily be applied by a homeowner or a green industry professional.