How to get a soil sample done by Extension services

Asked August 15, 2019, 4:35 PM EDT

There is a large circle on my lawn where we can't get grass to grow. We've tried twice with professional landscapers. Prior to growing the grass, ivy was growing (for years) and it died last summer. I would like to get the soil tested. Does Extension test soil? If so, how can I do that. Thank you,

Baltimore Maryland lawns and turf soil testing dead zone

3 Responses

Having the soil tested is a good idea and both of those professionals hopefully started with this as well.
Here is our soil testing page with all of the information you need, including how to take a good sample and a list of regional labs who can complete the analysis for you: https://www.extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

The test will now turn up problems with contaminants or buried debris etc. however.
This page will suggest other ideas for what may be occurring in this area:
https://www.extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawns-cultural-environmental-problems

When the landscapers tried to grow grass there, did they follow best practices as far as timing (fall is best), preparation and watering throughout the whole period of germination/establishment? Keeping the area moist throughout the germination period is crucial to success.
Here is our lawn page with links to all you need to know for best success:
https://www.extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawns
'Renovation' will have the steps for trying again.

It's worth mentioning that turf type tall fescue is a full sun plant. If the area is in deep shade you might consider lawn alternatives, which is another tab at the link above.


Christine

Thanks for your response. If we suspect that there is a fungus in the soil, will a soil test detect it?

Donna Stark

No, there is no easily available soil test for residents that will detect a disease problem.

Deb