My community garden plot was under producing this past year. Where can I go to have my soil tested so I know what to do to produce nice tomatoes again?
Jackson County Oregon
Unfortunately, there is no laboratory within the southern Oregon area which performs soil tests. However, you can go to the Master Gardener Plant clinic, located at the OSU Extension offices, 569 Hanley Rd. (rte. 238), Central Point. Telephone 541-776-7371 for current hours or to make arrangements to have a packet on soil testing e-mailed to you for down-loading. Now, about those tomatoes in a community garden. Have you discussed the soil situation with the garden management? Tomatoes do not like to be planted again and again in the same ground. Not only are nutrients depleted, but soil-borne diseases can build up .Are you fertilizing properly? Tomatoes do not like nitrogen fertilizer once they start blooming. They like phosphorus rich soil (fruiting help). You might want to invest about $15 in a "home" soil-testing kit. This will give you a rough estimate of what actually is in the soil in regard to its pH (acid/alkaline level) and the three basic elements : nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Some kits do a little more, but these basic tests will alert you to any major deficiencies. Thank you for using Ask an Expert.