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PLANT HEALTH STARTS in the soil...
what and how?
If your space is new, do an evaluation and assess the location, desired use, and condition of the area. If your space is old, you may already know what is needed. Here are some questions to answer-
How compacted is this soil?
Is there any organic material in the soil already?
Is it contaminated? Has the soil gotten worn out? Are there earth worms present? Have you been using chemical fertilizers on this soil?
Has this soil been rototilled too much?
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It's a good idea- instead of guessing, get a test. First of all scrape off the top layer, about an inch or so and don't include any of your mulch. That would throw off the organic content of the soil.
Take several samples of the area you want to test. If you have several beds or a large garden, get some samples from all of the areas. Dig a hole several inches down and then you cut off a little soil off the side of the hole. That will be one sample. (I used my cucumber corer and just took a core from the soil).
Put them on one clean plastic container and mix well. Place a cup full into a ziplock and mail it to your lab. Here is a suggestion for you to consider.