How to recover from a bad soil delivery

Asked June 24, 2016, 2:26 PM EDT

A number of us at Luscher Farm community gardens (Lake Oswego) have received what was sold as premium blended garden soil from a local soil provider. The same soil last year delivered superb results: large beets and lush spinach plants by now. I have had trouble getting both beet and spinach seed to germinate properly this year in the soil that was delivered in January. Both beet and spinach are now only 3 inches tall - and after re-seeding more than once. I suspect this soil contained something like Preen (that prevents germination). Strangely, carrot seeds have germinated and are usually the most stubborn. Veggie starts will move along, but still not like last year. What measures can I take to get this soil useable by next year. This year may be a loss. Supposedly Preen, if present, will only last for 3 months. Do you have a testing service that can explain why this batch of soil is not garden friendly? Carl Selin Lake Oswego, OR I am re-sending this with the "share my question" checked this time

Clackamas County Oregon soil soil testing soil contamination soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Here are the two labs to which we can refer clients:

A&L Labs, Tigard, OR 503-968-9225
Agri-CHECK, Umatilla, OR. 800-537-1129

You will want to call the labs to find out the best method for collecting samples and then reviewing the types of analyses you need and the costs.

I'm assuming you already contacted the supplier to discuss the issues that you have, but after you get your results, it may be worthwhile to contact them again to review the results (I suspect your order was substantial.) I hope this works out for your group.