Hello, I am trying to find out what type of soil is in Charles County. I live in the pinefield area and I am finishing my very first year of small gardening. I grew in two raised beds over tarps because my yard has a lot of tree roots growing throughout. This year I bought soil and manure, but next year I would like to plant in ground, if possible, but also use the native soil in my raised beds. So I figured I would need to know the texture of the soil so that I can properly amend it.
Take a look at our web page about soil testing. This has all the information about how to collect and submit a soil sample from the area you want to test. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing
A basic soil test will give you information on nutrient levels, organic matter, and pH. If you are growing a vegetable garden, we also recommend testing for lead. Here is a list of recommended regional labs to where you can send a sample for analysis. (University of Delaware is one that tests for lead.) https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG110a_So...
When you mail your sample, indicate on the submission form what you intend to grow (vegetables, ornamentals, etc.). Many labs will provide specific recommendations for soil amendments, if you indicate the crop you want to grow.
Once you have your soil test results, you can amend the soil accordingly, if needed. The following publication has comprehensive information on different types of soil amendments and fertilizers. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG42_Soil_...