While a special soil testing campaign was conducted from November 12 to December 31, 2008, testing your soil can be very important to determining the steps needed to help in your landscape recovery efforts after Ike.
You can download the submission form and information on how to collect a soil sample and send in your soil sample along with your payment to Texas A&M Soil Testing Laboratory. If you choose to download and print the submission form, you may send your soil sample in a good quality ziploc bag, but remember each soil sample should contain at least 3 cups (but not more than 4 cups) of soil. Remember also, the 3 cups of soil should be a composite sample from your yard or garden, as outlined on the submission form. If you have any questions feel free to call or visit the Extension Office.
The path to landscape recovery and renovation may require soil modification following prolonged periods of saltwater flooding. Choosing the best course of action will largely depend on the level of residual salts and related chemicals left behind in the soil as well on soil type and other factors.
To assist in this decision-making process, Texas AgriLife Extension is sponsoring a special soil testing program. Using the results from a soil test to make soil modifications as may be needed will help limit unnecessary applications of garden chemicals/fertilizers while nurturing a healthy and sustainable landscape environment.
Each soil test report will provide pH level and a detail analysis of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels in addition to several micronutrients. Each report will also provide details on what mixes of fertilizer to apply, when to apply them, and at which rates.
If you reside in another cooperating county, please contact your local Extension Office for more information.
Soil sample bags and submission forms may also be picked up at the Galveston County Extension Office located at 5115 Highway 3, in Dickinson (phone: 281-534-3413, ext. 1, 2). The level of salinity will also be determined for each soil sample. This information will be of value for dealing with soils flooded by tidal waters which can contain harmful levels of salts such as sodium.
Whether your landscape and garden soil was impacted by tidal floods or you’re just interested in knowing the nutrient level of your soil, take advantage of this special offering to get your soil tested. You will not only save dollars at this special rate, you could also save money by not having to fertilize if your soil doesn't need phosphorus and/or potassium—which is the case for many of the heavy clay soils in our county.
Soil tests are only as good as the samples submitted. Home gardeners should read and follow the directions provided on submission forms.
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by Master Gardener Laura Bellmore, under the direction of William M.
Johnson, Ph.D., County Extension Agent-Horticulture & Master Gardener
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