should I take a soil sample in the first place?
your soil tested can be looked at much like visiting the doctor.
No one necessarily likes to do it, but there are several reasons
why it can be a good idea!
establish a baseline:
is a good idea to visit a doctor for a physical even when we are
perfectly healthy. Even if your soil does not appear to be causing
any problems, it is a good idea to have a soil test done just
to establish baseline values. If something does go wrong in the
future, you may be able to compare new soil test results to your
previously established baseline values to determine how to correct
diagnose a problem:
you are ill, you may visit a doctor to find out what the problem
is and how to fix it. The same applies to your soil. If a garden
that has been healthy in the past suddenly stops producing, a
soil test may help determine a nutrient that is lacking or other
problem that can be fixed with a "prescription" of fertilizer.
you have been under a doctor's care, he or she may ask you to
return for a follow-up visit. When you are attempting to improve
your soil's 'health', it is a good idea to monitor the progress
to be sure the 'cure' is taking effect.
find a hidden problem:
if we feel healthy, a doctor may point out things that could become
a problem if left unchecked. This can also be true with a soil
test, since fertility levels change over time. You may be over
or under fertilizing each year, but this may not be apparent in
your plants until some critical point is reached. A soil test
may help you to correct bad habits before they have an effect
on your lawn, garden, or landscaping beds.
should I send my sample to CALMAR?
about "do it yourself" home test kits?
home test kits are not full spectrum tests, providing only soil
pH. While some may be fairly accurate, they require you to perform
the test and interpret the results. For the same cost, you can
receive a complete soil analysis from CALMAR along with
the interpretation of the results and recommendations.
makes CALMAR different from any other lab?
soil testing labs have a 20-year history of providing
the most accurate and precise tests as possible.
tests for each nutrient individually. We use methods approved
and researched over the years to be reliable and reproducible.
Many laboratories today use less expensive methods that require
less labor and equipment to produce more results in less time.
At CALMAR, we are committed to providing the most
accurate test results possible for both our agricultural customers
as well as the home gardener.
does not subject soil samples to high temperatures to speed the
drying process. This practice may seriously alter some test results,
and effect the quality of the results and therefore the value
of the recommendations that you receive.
does not use hammer mills to break down the soil for testing.
Although it is necessary to grind your samples to achieve a uniform
sample for analysis, we use an automated "mortar and pestle" style
grinder to do this. Hammer mills, though commonly used in the
industry, can be destructive to the soil lattice and seriously
alter the test results. Again, our methods may be a bit more costly,
but we feel it results in superior products - which are your
has a very strong quality control program that employs chemical
known samples, known soil samples, and blind split sample comparisons.
A minimum of 10% of all samples are tested twice, just to confirm
the quality is consistent throughout a day's testing. In addition,
CALMAR participates in several regional and national
soil "exchanges" several times each year, so that we know our
results meet the standards set by the industry.
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