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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Soil analysis

A soil analysis provides information about pH, soil type, organic matter, and nutrient levels and will help you determine what amendments and nutrients must be added to improve the soil. An analysis is recommended for sites that have never been planted before. If you are simply replanting a lawn, a soil analysis may not be necessary.

Steps for preparing soil samples for analysis

Roll your mouse over each step to see it illustrated.

Illustration of a button 1. Sample at least 10 spots around your planting site.
Illustration of a button 2. Use clean tools before collecting samples; a core sampler works best, although a garden trowel or shovel will also work.
Illustration of a button 3. Push the sampler into the soil to a depth of 6 - 8 inches and pull out a core of soil.
Illustration of a button 4. Mix the samples together and prepare to submit a pound of this aggregate to a professional soil analysis lab.*
Illustration of a button 5. Wrap the sample in moist newspaper.
Illustration of a button 6. Put the wrapped sample in a plastic bag and place in a labeled envelope for submission.

* To find a soil analysis lab in your area, check the Yellow Pages under Laboratories-Analytical.

Photo of a soil core sample

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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