by Barbara Johnson, Edmonson County Conservation Office
If you’re like most of us, you don’t have extra money to throw away. Even so, that’s what some people do when they don’t test the soil in their gardens or on their farms before buying lime and fertilizer. In fact, having your soil test done through a reputable soil-testing laboratory might not only be the best way to ensure success with your garden or crops but save a lot of money as well. Soil testing is offered at most fertilizer plants, garden centers and at the Edmonson County UK Extension office.
Soil testing can help you save money in your lawn, garden or on the farm, and grow healthier plants by telling you which nutrients are already in your soil and which ones you need to add with either natural or synthetic fertilizers. One of the most important things a soil test measures is your soil’s pH, or how acidic or basic your soil is. Soils in our area vary anywhere from 4.2 (very acidic) to 8.4 (basic) or higher.
Most plants prefer to grow in soils with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, though there are some notable exceptions like blueberries, which prefer a soil pH around 4.5. Over fertilization is one of the worst things you can do for the environment, as runoff is a major pollutant in Kentucky’s waterways.
This year, Edmonson County Conservation District has received funding through an Environmental grant from the Kentucky Division of Conservation for soil testing reimbursement. We are offering up to $7.00 reimbursement per soil test from any vendor with receipt. We are offering reimbursement for 1 test per household per year, and for our agriculture producers with farm numbers, up to 5 tests per year.
To receive reimbursement, bring your receipt along with your name and address by the Edmonson County Conservation District Office at 100 Washington St. Brownsville, and a check will be mailed to you. This offer is only open to citizens of Edmonson County while funds are available.
For more information on collecting soil samples stop by the Edmonson County UK Extension Office on Mohawk St. in Brownsville phone: 270-597-3628 for more information on the reimbursement program call the Conservation District Office at 270-597-2761.