There is still time to test your soil before planting time. Instructions and boxes are free from the Extension Service. They recently moved to the Gate Center. It’s at the end of Courthouse street, just down from our office.
Taking soil samples is easy. The main concern is that you take a “representative” sample. That means taking soil from several places in your growing area and mixing them together. You want to go down as deep as roots grow-so at least 6 to 8 inches, up to 12. Be sure to use a plastic or stainless bucket and clean tools, so you don’t contaminate your sample. If areas of your garden are very different, you might to send in more than one sample. The basic sample costs $10. If you are interested in finding out your organic matter content, that’s an extra $4. Mix your soil together and pour it into the box. Then put that in a mailing container and send to Virginia Tech. The address is on the sheet.
Next time we’ll talk about reading your report.