Soil Testing Amendment
Going beyond the standard treatment program, an additional service that is available to maximize your lawn's health is soil testing and amendment applications. As you may already know, the soils in central Indiana are not great for establishing and maintaining a lawn and landscape. Typically, the newer your home and lawn are, the greater the potential could be for deficient soil conditions to exist. Significant nutrient deficiencies, lack of organic material, and a soil pH that is out of the range for healthy plant development are all issues that a routine soil test can illuminate. Correcting these issues can be challenging, but with time can be resolved.
Below is an example of a soil test report taken at my new house when I moved in 2014. This report shows various soil components, and quantities in which they are present. The areas of greatest importance for plant development have been highlighted to create a unique action plan to correct these issues and maximize my lawn's potential.
This soil test report indicates quite a few significant issues with my soil. There is very little organic material (1.79%), deficiencies in phosphorus and potassium, both necessary nutrients for healthy turf development, and a pH of 7.6, where the ideal range is 6.0-7.0. I have aerated the lawn once, and plan to repeat this every year for at least the next four years. I have applied granular phosphorus and potassium to raise these levels, and will repeat as necessary to reach the desired levels. I never bag the clippings when mowing, and I will likely top dress the lawn with an organic top-soil following an aeration to improve the organic material percentage. This process can take several years to reach the ideal levels in the soil environment.