vegetable garden issues (soil pH?)
I put in raised garden beds and filled them with topsoil with organic leaf blend (50:50), then added some Miracle Grow garden soil on top before planting vegetables. I planted some seedlings started in small containers, and some plants purchased from various garden retailers. The gardens get adequate sun, but the plants are not growing, with most of the plants the same size as when I planted them in May, they seem to be stunted. Most of the seedlings died. Never had this problem gardening before, but these raised beds are new this year. It was suggested that I bring soil samples to the Coop extension for testing. How do I bring in samples (how much, when, where, sample collection tips, container)? Do you have any other suggestions for testing? I am not far from the Howard County extension.
We do not do soil testing at the University of Maryland, but there are several regional labs that we recommend for this type of test. Take a look at the following page on our website for how to prepare and submit a soil test. There is a video that shows how to collect a sample.
You can mail your sample to any of the labs listed on the following page. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG110a_Soi...
Visit the lab's website and download their submission form to send in with your sample.
For a vegetable garden, we do recommend having your soil tested for lead. The University of Delaware includes the lead test in their analysis.