Tag: soil test

Get you soil pH levels tested this Spring.

Local Soil Test Results

Soil Test Results

Located in Central Pennsylvania and just looking for a soil test service? Great! Contact us for more information. Interested in learning what it all means? Great! Read on ..

The results behind a soil test may look cumbersome, but really they are not. It comes down to three important factors based on your specified grass type.

The  Soil pH level, the Phosphorus level, and the Potassium level.

Each turf type requires an optimum blend of three nutrients, and a test is designed to show you exactly where those levels are currently at. Depending on the company or lab where your test is diagnosed, easy to understand recommendations are printed out with instructions that, if followed correctly, will balance your nutrients out  to optimum across the chart.

For an example using the following image, if your lawn is low in pH, optimal in Phosphorus, and high in Potassium, a list of fertilizers and the rate for pound per square footage the fertilizer should be spread is listed. Since the pH level is low, you will want to increase that of course. But what fertilizer are you going to need. The paper shows a 33-3-4, so lets look at what that means.

Local Soil Test Results

Soil Test Results



Every time you read a bad of fertilizer it lists three numbers,  ##-##-##. What are those three numbers? They represent three nutrients, N, P2O5 and K2O – or easily enough Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.



is the primary found in most fertilizers. Many times you will hear,

“If you want a green lawn, add nitrogen”

While that is true, be careful.  The greener your grass, the more photosynthesis that can occur (that is your lawn eating, BTW). Buttt to much nitrogen can easily ruin your lawn. So don’t just spread a Nitrogen rich fertilizer and expect great results. Remember, your lawn needs a complimentary blend of the Three nutrients to look (and be) its healthiest. To much nitrogen the lawn is going to grow like a bad weed, causing more cutting, which causes the grass more stress and then oh no…

To much stress…

To much nitrogen leads to stressed out turf.

Stressed turf.



The second number that dominates fertilizer ingredients. Inside your grass there are  energy-rich phosphate bonds that  fuel the “metabolic machinery” and  ultimately growth. Without Phosphorus, leaf,  root, and stem growth slows dramatically. Phosphorus also helps keep higher quality soil, denser, absorbing more water.

The root systems of your lawn benefits greatly from Phosphorus. But be careful not to smother your lawn with to much phosphorus, that can be another factor of stress, and we know where that leads to.

Phosphorus can be dangerous not only to the lawn, but to the environment if to much is used. Some states are promoting a no P fertilizer program (No phosphorus). Phosphorus can cause algae build up in water which has caused ecological unbalancing. But did you know pollution from Phosphorus can be WORSE by letting the levels get to low? Strange, but when the soil becomes less dense, water runoff (Phosphorus run off..) is higher.


I don’t know why, but whenever I hear Potassium the first thing I think of is bananas. Odd first thought, I know.

Potassium is key for strong root formation and plant health overall. It is responsible for playing a role in keeping your turf alive during the winter, fending off disease, and fungus problems. Let the levels get to low and you are opening the door for a ton of problems ranging from ring spot, red threat, neuritic ring spot, etc. etc. etc.


Hopefully this post helps you understand test results easier and the basic needs of your lawn. Your lawn grows in soil, the key to a lush green lawn is perfectly aerated, nutrient rich, worm loving all around awesome soil. And a soil pH test – I am assuming you want a beautiful lawn, you are reading this after all – should be on your list every Spring if possible.

Need some help? Great – that is why we are in business. We can help you figure out the result & create a plan (no charge!) , or we can perform the test, diagnose the results, and formulate a plan of action for a one time low fee. Simply follow the link on the top right of the page or click here -> “Contact us

By the way, from the list above my recommendation would be the 33-3-3 fertilizer, raise Nitrogen while effecting Phosphorus and Potassium as minimal as possible.

Don’t start paying attention to your gardens and lawns quite just yet..

The weather doesn’t seem to resemble winter too much, and at times the temperatures remind us of an early Spring. But don’t get the Spring mindset just yet.

Some are starting to perform yard work that should not be started yet!

Don’t let the weather fool you, starting now could cause more harm then good once the lawn is actually ready to wake up. Allowing your lawn and garden to wake up on its own – gradually, is the best thing for it. Starting to soon can end up killing new shoots, cause flowers to bloom to soon (leaving them dead when you want them most!) and opening the door up to fungus and diseases.

When should you consider starting your lawn work?

Normally April-May are the best months for our area. It differs though from year to year – February is definitely way to early to start lawn maintenance.

What should I start with when it is time?

Raking. Clear out the left over leaves from Fall, give the lawn a good raking. This will provide a small amount of de-thatching and help new blades get oxygen & sunlight. You may want to consider a sprint aeration service or professional de-thatching service as well.

Get your soil pH tested.

The second step I would recommend is to get a soil pH test from a local garden center / home improvement store. They normally cost around $8.00 – $10.00 and give you valuable information regarding the condition of your soil. Poor soil returns poor lawn grass, so don’t under estimate this step. We also provide soil testing services that get returned with documents that explain all recommended fertilizer applications – which really helps put you a step ahead for spring maintenance.

View a complete list of our available services at www.blaircountylawnservice.com/services/

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Test Your Lawns pH Level

Dandelions love a pH of about 7.5. Grass loves a pH of about 6.5. So if your pH is 7.5 or higher, your grass will probably never beat out the dandelion. Lower the pH to 6.5 and your grass has the advantage!

Be sure to have your pH tested professionally. The kits that you can buy in the store will often give you the wrong information. I once spent $18 on a pH meter that told me that my lawn pH was 6.0 when it was really 7.8. So I should have added gardeners sulfur, but instead I added lime!.

If you’re going to buy a pH tester, be prepared to spend around $85 for the tester and the calibration solutions. A long time ago I bought the Oakton pHTestr 2 plus 4.0 and 7.0 solutions. I think most folks will wanna keep their $85 and just pack some soil samples to the local extension office.

A little side note: a dusting of lime on the soil surface has been shown, in most cases, to nearly double earthworm reproduction.

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