Soil test can help when it comes to turf care

Testing soil can show how it is lacking in nutrients.
Testing soil can show how it is lacking in nutrients.
As the weather warms up across the country, many people may wonder what they should do when it comes to restarting their lawn care efforts.

Recently, a member of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, housed at Virginia Tech, gave some advice when it comes to spring lawn care. Mike Goatley, a turf specialist with the organization, said that homeowners should get a soil test done.

"There is no better money spent than to have a soil test done on the lawn and garden areas at least every third year," Goatley said.

Having soil tested can inform a property owner regarding what types of nutrients his or her lawn lacks, which could include lime and potassium. With that information, they can add the proper nutrients in order to help grass and plants grow.

When it comes to the application of nitrogen, Goatley said that people need to consider the time of year and potential temperature. Adding nitrogen may encourage shoot growth, but that could harm grasses that thrive in the warm weather if there is an early frost.

Along with Goatley's suggestions, lawn owners who have used tractors in the past to cut their grass may consider making sure their machines are ready for the spring and summer. That would include checking fluid levels, changing filters and having blades sharpened.