McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


February 15, 2013

Starting with a soil test

OKLAHOMA CITY — The soil test provides a starting place for a soil improvement program for the home gardener. Unless you know the problems in your garden soil, you are only guessing when you apply fertilizer. The guessing method in some cases causes you to spend excess money on unneeded fertilizer.

Use a soil probe, spade or shovel to sample the soil profile to a depth of eight-to-12 inches. It is important to obtain a representative sample of the soil in the root zone rather than only the surface soil. It is generally advisable to take several samples (at least 10) around the garden area, and then mix thoroughly in a clean bucket or pail. This gives a representative sample of the entire garden area.

From the pail or bucket, select about a pint of soil. Special soil bags are available from your local county extension office. You may also use a clean milk carton, ice cream container or a good plastic zip lock bag. Make sure the container or bag is labeled with your name, address, and information on the garden crops to be grown. If you send more than one sample, be sure to clearly label each sample.

If you suspect a particular area in your garden is extremely different than the rest, or if you have a problem area, include that area as a separate sample. Be sure to label the sample as such. Once your soil sample is collected, it will be sent to the Oklahoma State University soil testing lab.

Recommendations will then be made on the amounts of fertilizer to use on your garden area.

For more information on soil testing contact your local OSU Extension Office.

David Cantrell is the Extension

Agriculture Educator for the Pittsburg County Oklahoma Cooperative

Extension Service. Contact him

at 918-423-4120 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.