MonthApril 2019

Simple Tips on Testing Your Soil

Simple Tips on Testing Your Soil

Home soil test kits include tablets and vials to test your soil, as well as a chart to interpret the results. With testing meters, you merely insert the meter probe into the ground and read the results. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these home-testing solutions.

Arrange a Soil Sample to Send for Analysis

To arrange a soil sample to send for analysis, you’ll need a clean bucket, a garden trowel, and a clean plastic (not metal) container. The steps are simple, but they should be followed carefully to get an accurate reading.

Thoroughly clean the tools you are using to collect the soil sample.
In the planting area, dig five holes 6 to 8 inches deep.
Take a 1/2-inch slice along the side of a hole and place it in the bucket. Repeat this process for all holes.
Collect samples from different areas that will be growing similar plants.
Mix the soil in the bucket. Spread the soil on a paper to dry out. Collect a pint for your sample.

Some Types of Grass For Landscaping

Some Types of Grass For Landscaping


Bluegrass is the turfgrass of choice in colder northern areas. The color and texture are exceptional with the right growing conditions. Sunlight, good soil, and regular water supply are critical to a beautiful bluegrass lawn.


Centipede is a tough, low-growing, low-maintenance turfgrass. It grows best in the acidic soil of the lower South. Centipede has a rougher texture than most turfgrasses, but with proper care, it has excellent weed and pest resistance.


The Fescue family has several members, including fine fescue, Chewings fescue, creeping red fescue, hard fescue, and tall fescue. All varieties can survive cold winters well. Tolerance for heat, drought, shade, and wear varies by variety, so check the label for details. All fescue responds well to a regular fertilizing and aerating schedule.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass develops quickly and holds up to foot traffic. Ryegrass is a simple addition to cool-season grass mixes and the overseeding “wintergreen” option for warm-season lawns.

How to Eliminate Weeds on Your Lawn

How to Eliminate Weeds on Your Lawn

Prevention is the best weed killer. Each kind of grass has an ideal cutting height for good health and steady growth. When cutting do not lower than that height, and when cut before it gets too high, the grass will normally out-compete lawn weeds as long as it’s also fertilized and watered correctly. Longer grass helps block weeds in a couple of many ways. The taller increased shades the ground, keeping it retarding and cooler lawn weed seed germination. And once lawn weed seeds germinate, they don’t have as much sunlight as they require for hardy growth.

Mow Your Grass When It’s Needed

It’s also necessary to mow your grass when it’s needed. That’s when the grass is one-third before the right cutting height. Depending on the weather in your area and the time of year, this can mean mowing in every week or two, or every four or five days. Checking the height also means you’re clipping off weed seed heads before they can mature and seed your lawn.

How Important is a Soil Test

How Important is a Soil Test

The soil is made up of minerals, organic matter (living and dead), air and water. Soil provides nutrients and serves as a foundation for plants. Improving your soil increases plant health and is critical to growing a lawn or garden you’ll enjoy for a lifetime.

Plant Growth and Vigor Are Often Dependent on Soil pH

Plant growth and vigor are often dependent on soil pH. The measurement of how alkaline or acidic the soil is. Soil pH is measured on a scale of 1 to 14 with a measurement of 7.0 considered neutral. A number below 7 is acidic (sometimes called “sour”); a number above 7 is alkaline.

A soil test determines whether your soil is acidic, neutral or alkaline. A soil test also indicates which elements are missing from your soil and how much to add to remedy the problem. Soil test kits are available at different garden centers. These kits will provide an immediate analysis of your soil’s pH and nutrient levels.

Choosing the Right Grass for Your Lawn

Choosing the Right Grass for Your Lawn

Success with your lawn depends on different things. Not the least among them is growing the proper type of grass for your area. In general, northern areas grow cool-season grasses, and the southern regions grow warm season varieties. The transition area is capable of increasing both types with proper care.

Creeping grasses like bluegrass, Bermuda and most warm-season grasses spread by below or above ground runners. Crawling varieties are more likely to thatch.

Bunch grasses such as ryegrass and fescue spread from the crown of the plant. Mowing high protects the head and ensures the survival of the grass.

Few Types of Grass


Bahia is a tough turfgrass particularly suited to the humidity and heat of the South. It has a rougher texture than other turfgrasses, but because of this toughness, it can handle massive foot traffic with ease.


Bermuda’s aggressive growth habit gives it excellent weed protection. That same trait can be an issue when Bermuda invades flower beds. Bermuda is wear-resistant and drought-tolerant. Over seeding with rye will provide a green lawn during winter.

Why Fertilize the Lawn?

Why Fertilize the Lawn?

Your soil gives some of the nutrients that turfgrass needs but most grounds are not able to accommodate all of them during the entire growing season. An active and healthy growing lawn uses a great deal of energy.

Fertilizer helps your garden stay healthy by:

  • Replacing nutrients lost to leaching, volatilization and grass clipping removal
  • Aiding in recovery from foot traffic and pest damage
  • Promoting new leaf and root growth
  • Reducing and controlling weeds
  • Choosing a brand of lawn fertilizer

You must pick the right food if you expect a healthy, green lawn. Where you live, what kind of grass you have, what season it is all are critical factors in picking the right type of fertilizer. Our fertilizer buying guide helps you make the right choice.