When the green grass begins to show and the brown grass bids farewell, it’s time to tend the landscape. Start with a soil test to find out how much your grass requires. If your soil is acidic, plan to do this every few years. Find a local cooperative extension to perform the test. Auburn University offers soil, forage and water testing. If you do not have the means to obtain a soil test, use the general guideline of 15 to 20 pounds of lime per 100 square feet of lawn area. Note: Pelletized lime is less messy and easier to apply than the white-powdered kind.
Routine Soil Analysis
Soil samples are analyzed for pH, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Customer information form Then, A soil test report detailing soil test values, ratings and, lime and fertilizer recommendations is available to the customer by e-mail and/or regular mail within 24 hours. Be sure to read about proper soil sample collection and packaging here.
- Routine Soil Analysis form for Lime and Fertilizer Recommendations (primary soil testing form)
- Soil Analysis Login
- Publications & Forms
Soil Quality & Soil Health
Soil quality aka soil health is how well soil does what we want it to do. Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. The Soil Science Society of American defines “Soil quality” as “The fitness of a specific kind of soil, to function within its capacity and within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support human health and habitation”.
Special Soil Analysis
In addition to the routine analysis, soil samples are extracted by different methods and analyzed for calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), barium (B), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), sodium (Na), nickel (Ni) and others by ICP (inductively coupled plasma). Also, total nitrogen (N), carbon (C), sulfur (S), organic matter, nitrate (NO3-N), ammonium (NH4-N), particle size, soluble salts, alkalinity, electrical conductivity, saturated media extract for potting media, pecan package analysis and many others (see detailed menu here). These analyses will take more time to complete depending on the type of analysis requested and number of samples. Limited interpretations of the results will be provided upon requested.
March is a difficult month for gardening in most places but in the South temperature changes are usually warm enough to begin digging in the dirt. Be sure to choose plants which can tolerate the temperatures in your zone and only plant once frost is gone for the season.
Azaleas “The Royalty of the Garden”
- Provide well-drained, humus-rich soil that is slightly acidic (pH 4.5–6).
- Mulch well. Shallow-rooted, azaleas tend to dry out quickly if not mulched. A mulch of oak leaf mold, pine needles, or aged oak, pine, or hemlock sawdust will keep the soil acidic and moist.
- Fertilizer isn’t needed. The decaying mulch will provide all of the nutrients that azaleas need.
- Seldom bothered by insects and diseases, azaleas require little care once established, except for watering during dry times.
Crocus and Snowdrop – Grows from late February to early March.
Lilies, Daffodils, and Tulips – bulbs can all be planted in March for Spring blossoms.
Cherry Blossom and Fruit Trees
Landscaping Plants – Rock Cress, Bergenia and Sweet Peas.
For a beautiful landscape to compliment your property, talk to the professional landscape architects at Hilltop Landscaping, LLC. We can design and create the perfect outdoor look according to your tastes.