Soil sampling and testing can be used as a management tool to help in decisions related to fertilizer and limestone applications for commercially grown crops, home gardens, fruit trees, ornamentals, and lawns. It provides a scientific basis for maintaining optimum soil fertility levels and proper soil pH values to help attain maximum plant growth and economic yields. Soil testing also protects against the expense and environmental hazards resulting from excessive fertilizer applications. A subsoil test for sandy Coastal Plain soils will provide information for adjusting fertilizer recommendations based on the top soil.
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1. Includes pH, buffer pH, extractable phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, and boron, and sodium, lime requirements and recommendations. Calculations for a CEC (cation exchange capacity), acidity, and % base saturation will also be included.
2. Organic Matter: LOI (Loss on Ignition)
3. For a reliable nitrogen analysis, two or more samples should be taken from several depths within the soil profile.
4. For mineral soils
5. Can be determined for subsoil clays (B horizon) of Coastal Plain Soils. This information is useful only if the subsoil is within twenty inches of the soil surface. Subsoil samples should contain only the top four inches of the clay layer.
6. A pH and lime requirement test will be run on mud samples from farm ponds for fish production.
7. At least one quart of media is needed for this test. Soluble salts, pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and nitrates will be determined on a saturated water extract.