Campus News

Test helps prevent garden problems

A huge number of the problems gardeners have each year could be resolved before they start by getting a good soil test and following the resulting recommendations.

The first step in the process is taking a good sample. Take a clean plastic bucket and a spade and get samples 4 to 6 inches deep in four or five places in the garden. Blend the samples well in the bucket. Then take the bucket to the UGA Cooperative Extension office in your county and ask them to submit your soil sample.

In a few days, you’ll get a report that recommends how to fertilize your garden and whether to add some lime, potassium or phosphorus to adjust the soil pH.
While different crops in the garden have different nitrogen requirements, you can follow some general guidelines. Heavy feeders, such as cabbage, sweet corn and leafy greens, will need about five pounds of 10-10-10 per 100 square feet. Medium feeders, such as most vining crops like squash and cucumbers, need about three pounds per 100 square feet. And light feeders like snap beans, peas and lima beans will only need about two pounds.