Asked May 2, 2019, 11:57 PM EDT

I live near Greenwood and the garden soil hasn’t been tested in years. Should I test it?? What are the advantages of testing it?

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response

Hello and thank you for choosing Ask An Expert.

Soil testing is a benefit for many reasons and in the words directly on the U of D Soil Testing site: "Soil testing provides useful information to help people manage their land. A farmer or home gardener might have his/her soil tested to determine how much lime or fertilizer is needed to grow plants and/or avoid over-applying nutrient sources like manure. Parents might test the soil in their yard to see if hazardous amounts of lead or arsenic are present before installing a backyard playset for their children, or before beginning a new vegetable garden. Archeologists use soil testing to learn about past land use at historical sites. Scientists test soil to monitor the effects of new management practices on soil properties and environmental conditions."

For the reasons above and for so many others, yes! My answer is yes you should test it!

This link will give you information on "what soil tests are available":

This link is for the Sussex County Cooperative Extension Lawn and Garden website:

And this link will direct you to the Soil Testing Program Forms:

If you need further information please don't hesitate to reach out to the Sussex County Master Gardeners' Helpline:

Sussex County Garden Helpline
(302) 856-2585 Extension 535
April 14 to October 15
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Hope this helps!!

You will receive a brief survey to let us know how we are doing and what we can do to improve our service. Please take a moment to fill it out!!

Happy gardening


Thanks again for choosing Ask An Expert,

J.W. Wistermayer