The Part-time Gardener #3: How to take a soil test for your home garden

Materials Needed:  Spade Clean bucket Clean paper Ziploc bags Package for shipping Cost: $92.15 ($85 soil tests+ $7.15 shipping) Time: 30 mins collecting soil + time for soil to dry + visit to USPS for shipping! Notes:  UMass Extension's Soil and Plant Nutriet Testing Laboratory is often recommended for home garden soil tests due to its … Continue reading The Part-time Gardener #3: How to take a soil test for your home garden

The Part-time Gardener #2: What’s a soil test, and do I need one for my home garden?

When I first started home gardening, at no point did it ever cross my mind that I should get a soil test done before planting. I thought people just plunked their seeds or transplants into whatever soil they had in their yard. This might work in some parts of the country, but apparently it's not the best idea here in Southern California. As I learned more about urban agriculture, I realized that a soil test should be one of the first steps in planning ANY garden.