Answers to 3 Questions About Soils and Soil Testing

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The right soil on your property is necessary to grow a healthy lawn and garden, and even to support your home's foundation and any outbuildings you may have. Getting your soil tested can be a good choice especially if you're looking to add to your home or are getting serious about planting a large garden. Note a few commonly asked questions about soils and soil testing for a private property so you can determine if your soil needs to be tested in the first place.

1. Will soil testing always help plants to grow?

Your property's soil is very important to the overall health of plants, but it's not the only factor to consider. Plants need a certain amount of light, fertiliser, watering, and other such factors in order to grow well. Your property can be covered in very rich, fine soil but if your home or trees don't allow the plants to get adequate sunlight, or if they're in direct, hot sunlight, they might wither and die. If you know your plants get the right amount of sun and water but still don't thrive, have the soil tested to note if you need to make adjustments for healthy plants.

2. If soil smells odd, should it be tested?

If you're from the city, the smell of rich dirt can seem odd to you, or if you've never lived near a water feature and now have a large pond behind your home, you might notice a fishy smell. On the other hand, if you notice that your soil smells like raw sewage, has a metallic smell, or smells like gas or oil, you might consider having it tested. The soil may be contaminated by a faulty septic tank, petroleum runoff, lead, and the like.

3. Why should soil be tested before a building project?

When you build any type of building on your property or add to your home, you want to ensure that the soil will be strong enough to hold the weight of your new addition. Very soft, moist soil may collapse or shift under even a simple shed. Sandy soil may also not be strong enough to hold up additional weight. You may need to have your soil treated with lime or another component, underpin a foundation, or otherwise adjust your plans so you know your new project will be safe and structurally sound.

If you have more questions, contact local contractors.