Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

April 21, 2014

How to collect and submit soil sample

CROSSVILLE — Garry, a new resident in Crossville, emailed to ask how to gather a soil sample and where to take it to have testing done. Your local University of Tennessee Extension office is the place to go. Those in the Crossville area should call UT Extension Cumberland County at 484-6743. A staff person at the office can explain how to collect soil samples. (Those new in town who may not know where the Extension office is located may also call for driving directions.)

Collecting and Submitting Soil Samples: The basic idea is to get many small portions of soil (each at least two tablespoons) from lots of different locations within the lawn or garden area where you want the pH tested and for which fertilization and liming recommendations are needed. Just how many small samples are required depends upon the size of the area

In a large field for a single crop or a large pasture, take soil from about 20 different locations selected at random. Take soil to be tested for a lawn or a garden from a depth of about six inches below the surface in about eight or 10 different spots. Fancy soil probes are sold for taking samples, but a sharp spade used to lift out a wedge of soil serves the purpose just as well. Do not include leaf litter, sticks and twigs or pieces of live plants in the sample. Too many non-soil contaminants may throw test results off.

As soil portions are obtained put them into a clean, plastic grocery bag or clean bucket. Mix these small portions to get a composite sample which represents the entire area. If testing soil for both a lawn and a garden, put the small portions of soil from the turf grass area in one container labeled "lawn." Put soil from any different growing area such as a vegetable plot or flower garden in another labeled container. Each mailing box holds 3/4 cup to 1 cup of soil, so no need to collect much more than that for any one test area.

Bring the container with each composite sample to the Extension office. Fill out the form, F394: Soil & Media Information Sheet, indicating what plants will be grown in that soil (example: “tomatoes, green beans and squash” in garden) or use the standard crop codes. Put an ID for each sample on the information sheet and on the mailing box (examples: “front lawn” or “vegetable garden”).

There is a fee for each soil sample when multiple mailing boxes are submitted. Choose from various options for receiving the test results (including email). If you opt to have a copy of your soil test results sent to the Extension office from which the sample was mailed and another one sent to you, questions about the lime and fertilizer recommendations can more easily be discussed by telephone. If you receive the only copy, a trip to the office with the soil test report in hand may be necessary for your question and answer session.

Wet soil adds weight making shipping charges higher. A soggy soil sample may be held a few days in the office to allow it to dry out (another option is placing soil on a paper plate to dry it before coming to the Extension office — do not microwave). Dry samples are usually shipped within 24 hours. Processing time depends upon the volume of soil samples arriving at the UT Soil, Plant and Pest Center laboratory to be tested.

2014 Flower & Garden Show Seminars and Clinics — Friday, April 25, at 4 p.m., Sarah Johnson of Johnson’s Nursery and Garden Center, "Refurbishing Our Winter-Damaged Gardens & New Plants;" Saturday, April 26, at 10:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m., Jeff Poppen, The Barefoot Gardener from PBS TV; Sunday, April 27, at 2 p.m., Dr. Sue Hamilton with "Great Conifers of UT Gardens."      

UT Gardens-Crossville /Plateau Discovery Gardens May 2014 Classes and Events — Saturday, May 3, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. — "Growing Tomatoes Successfully." There is no charge. Register at 484-0034. Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., UT Gardens-Crossville Plant Sale (Friends of UT Gardens pre-sale on Friday, May 2, from 1 to 5 p.m. (membership card required).

Event details are available at http://www.ccmga.org.

• • •

Plateau Gardening is written by Master Gardeners for gardeners in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Region. Contact UT Extension Cumberland County at P.O. Box 483, Crossville, TN 38557 (931-484-6743) answers to horticulture questions, free publications and to learn about the Master Gardener program. Send email comments or yard and garden inquiries to Master Gardener Rae (MGardenerRae@frontiernet.net).

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Parkinson’s therapies help patients live big and loud

    Parkinson’s disease has famously affected the lives of celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. But whether a person with Parkinson’s is world famous or a next-door neighbor, new therapies are offering hope for a better quality of life.

    July 22, 2014

  • 8-5 CATS in Palace-Carole Jarboe Cullen - waterfall.jpg Local art event planned at CATS

    Plans are being made for an event sponsored by the CATS Gallery at the Palace Theatre, 72 South Main St., Crossville, Tuesday, Aug. 5, beginning at 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, music and an opportunity to view a performance painting by artist Chuck Jensen. A live auction of donated art pieces will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the opportunity to "Be a Cool Cat — Buy Local Art." There is free admission, but it is advisable to get a free ticket at the CATS Gallery in the middle section of the Crossville Mall, at the Palace Theatre or from any participating member of CATS. During the event, original art items including paintings, photographs, and jewelry will be offered for auction, such as this expressive waterfall painting by Carole Cullen.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 23, 2014)

    July 22, 2014

  • fair park.jpg Heritage demonstrators welcome

    Most of Americans today never stop to think how different our lives would have been several hundred years ago. How many times a day do we wash our hands, and do we ever realize when we take those hot showers and lather up, the long all-day process our ancestors had to go through just to make a bar of soap? Not to mention packing water to the house and heating it up over a wood fire just to have a bath and wash clothes. Times are changing faster than ever.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • pleasant hill ramblings.jpg Mathes restores a bit of Pleasant Hill's history

    Miss Alice Adshead, RN, created a “wilderness trail” through the woods just down the hill from Uplands Sanatorium, the first hospital in Cumberland County once located on Main St. in Pleasant Hill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • plateau gardening-hydrangeas5117.jpg Prune flowering shrubs: now or wait until February?

    Experts say, “Don’t prune woody-stemmed plants (shrubs, trees and some types of vines) after mid-August.” Do pay close attention to that advice. The purpose of this late-season pruning prohibition is to keep plants healthy.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • IMG_1850.jpg Burgess Falls offers a big payoff for a short hike

    At Burgess Falls, you can be out of your car and taking in the breathtaking view of the Falling Water River as it falls 136 feet in the third and final drop of the river with just a short walk through the woods.
    But even though the state park is close to civilization, this natural wonder retains its wild and scenic reputation.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 19 Links

  • 8-2 colonial dames.jpg Colonial Dames honors members with luncheon

    The John McKnitt Chapter Colonial Dames 17th Century held its May meeting at the home of Joyce Ernst. Those present were Sherry Sneed, Jessie Watts, Dot Brodhag, Kandy B. Smith, Lynn Constan, Donna Hamilton, Margaret Markum, Lana Davis, Sara Tripiciano, Jane Tavernier, Joyce Ernst, Kathy Wilson, Charlotte Reynolds, and Cheryl Chrobot. President Lana Davis welcomed the ladies and followed with the opening ritual.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • J & J Show Best of Show.jpg Art Guild announces winners from Judged and Juried Show

    On June 6, the Art Guild at Fairfield Glade held a reception to announce the winners of the Judged and Juried Fine Arts Show. The pieces were judged by Marcia Goldenstein of Knoxville. Stonehaus Winery provided refreshments for the occasion.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-1 Celtic Circle.jpg Celtic Circle donates to ACPL

    Celtic Circle, a local group of Americans celebrating their Celtic heritage, recently donated a subscription for Scotland Magazine to the Art Circle Public Library and to the Homestead Elementary School library. Pictured, left to right, are Barbara Nugent, originally from Yorkshire, England; Susie Randleman, ACPL director; and Catherine Stewart Munkelwitz from Inverness, Scotland. Celtic Circle will host a program titled "Celtic Sampler" at ACPL on Friday, Aug. 1 beginning at noon. Entertainment includes great Highland bagpipe, bodhran, harp, Irish step dancing, both Scottish and Irish songs, Gaelic spoken and sung, tartan weaving and Celtic Children's Corner with crafts.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo