Anytime is a good time to gather samples of soil for testing.
Soil sampling results are an easy way to decode your soil’s components, or more importantly, what your soil is lacking. It’s not something that is needed annually, every two to three years is fine. And, in North Carolina, it’s free.
A simple soil test will determining the relative acidity of the soil (pH) and the level of several essential nutrients, including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper, and zinc. So what, you say? Here’s why.
Also, a soil test is the only reliable method to determine a soil’s pH. North Carolina tends to have acidic soil. Soil pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion activity and is on a logarithmic scale of 1 to 14. Values below 7 are acidic; values above 7 are basic. 7 is considered neutral.
Knowing your soil’s pH will help you make decisions as to what to plant, or areas to amend, and fertilizer. Certain plants require certain pH levels for optimum growth. Most plants in North Carolina like a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Blueberries, dogwood, azaleas, require a acid soil, with a pH 5.0 to 5.5.
Check here for easy, step by step instructions to conduct a soil test.