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  • Writer's pictureTodd Humes

The Importance of Soil Samples for North Dakota Lawn Care

Ever wonder what microscopic molecules are responsible for creating a lush lawn beneath your feet? Soil samples are the perfect way to get a closer look at your lawn's nutrient composition. Whether you're having lawn troubles or you want to boost your turf, a soil sample is the tool you need. They can guide lawn owners in making personalized lawn care decisions. So, let's dig into the importance of soil samples for your lawn in Jamestown, North Dakota.

What Is A Soil Sample For Soil Testing?

lab analyzed soil test

A soil sample is a small blend of soil slices from around a yard. Think of a soil sample as a sample population in an experiment. You'll have a quintillion molecules within a bucketful of soil, including essential micro and macronutrients! Moisture content and pH are also varying factors to consider. Soil samples are used in a soil test to give a detailed overview of your soil's makeup, including its nutrients, salts, and pH. So when our lawn care specialists fertilize this summer, we can give your soil exactly what it needs.

When Do You Need A Soil Sample?

Soil samples can be taken anytime throughout the year. However, homeowners and lawn care companies generally take soil samples for testing when they want to find potential health issues or change their lawn care strategy. If your lawn isn't responding well to fertilizing and remains stunted, your soil might be depleted of key nutrients. Discoloration, thinness, and disease are also symptoms of a lawn that needs a soil test to determine the amendments required to thrive.

Why Are Soil Samples Important In North Dakota?

soil sample in North Dakota

Soil samples offer lawn owners a wealth of information that can be a tool to improve lawn health and soil fertility. Soil samples are also crucial for lawn experts in determining your turf’s primary needs in a lawn care program. Here's why we encourage every homeowner in North Dakota to take a soil sample this spring:


  • Assesses general soil health. Soil sample tests offer a complete evaluation of your soil's overall makeup, imbalances, and deficiencies. They give a comprehensive look into critical health factors like how much nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) are currently in your lawn. A general assessment can help you understand your lawn's composition and become familiar with your yard and its needs.


  • Identifies deficiencies and imbalances. A soil sample test will alert you if your soil has any nutrient deficiencies or imbalances. For example, high salt content is common in North Dakota's saline soils. These issues might be the leading factors for your lawn problems, so a complete soil test will help diagnose any issues quickly and accurately.


  • Improves fertilizer customizations. Because soil samples contain vital information about soil's nutrient status, soil tests can help lawn owners and lawn care companies identify where amendments or specific fertilizer types need to be prioritized. If your soil's pH is low, adding lime during regular fertilizing can increase the pH to a more fertile level. Your local lawn care technicians can even use your results to provide additional recommendations for enhancing your lawn's health.


  • Aids the journey to lush growth. Beautiful lawns are only achieved with adequate care and effective lawn care practices! Taking soil samples is a first step toward introducing the right applications to your turf. Over time, you'll notice that your brief soil samples paid off by providing you with critical information that helped your grass thrive.

Where To Get A Soil Sample Test In North Dakota

Homeowners have two options for testing their soil: home tests and lab tests. Soil tests can be bought from your local home improvement store or online. Amazon offers several home soil testing kits that accurately read soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorous, potash, and micronutrient levels. If you'd rather leave it to the experts, North Dakota State University offers soil sampling and analysis through its soil testing lab.

How To Take A Soil Sample

To perform a soil test, we first need the soil. Getting a soil sample from your lawn is straightforward. Locate several spots in your lawn (the more the merrier). Keep in mind that the larger your yard, the more you should take. Once debris and grass are cleared, use a shovel or soil sampler probe to remove soil six inches deep and deposit it in a bucket. Then, mix the soil samples well to ensure the test receives accurate results for your lawn's average makeup. If you're shipping your soil sample to a lab, fill up a soil bag with a pint of soil, seal it in a sturdy box, and ship it to the address. Otherwise, read below for home testing!

Using A Soil Test Kit For Your Lawn

When you purchase a soil testing kit, it will come complete with the vials, tablets, and color charts needed to analyze the soil yourself. Most importantly, you should follow the instructions on the soil test to a T. For example, your soil test might require air-drying samples to work. As you experiment, you may be required to dip pH sticks into the soil or mix small samples with a reagent, so be sure to follow through with care and accuracy for the best results. Once your soil test is complete, refer to the color charts and match the soil compound to the closest shade. While home soil kits might not be as accurate to the decimal as lab tests, they're an excellent option for getting speedy and efficient results.

Enhance Your Soil's Fertility With a Lawn Fertilization Program

It all starts with a soil sample. At Southview Outdoor Services, we're committed to superior lawn results for homeowners in Jamestown. If your soil sample tests are raising red flags, we're here to restore your lawn to excellence. Contact us today to enroll in our year-round Lawn Fertilization Program, which will boost your soil's nutrient composition and achieve an envious lawn. We can’t wait to serve you and your lawn!

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