The Importance of Having Your Soil Tested in Maryland

soil testing

Here in the Old Line State, we have unique rules and regulations that apply to Maryland due to our state’s unique structure and proximity to the Atlantic coastline and the Chesapeake Bay. One of those regulations involves soil testing. If your home or business property receives either professional or home fertilization containing phosphorous, you are required to have your soil tested every three years.

Called the Maryland Fertilizer Law, it was put in place over five years ago to help protect the Chesapeake Bay and our local waterways from receiving excess runoff. The key ingredients in fertilizer, nitrogen, and phosphorous tend to wash up in storm drains and streams that run into the bay. Studies have shown that when it’s excessive, it causes a rise in the growth of algae blooms, which can be harmful in large amounts. Having this regulation in place helps ensure that significant amounts of phosphorous are kept out of our waterways.

The Harmful Effects of Algae Blooms

So, what is the deal with algae blooms, and why is too much of them harmful? Too many algae blooms can deplete the oxygen in the water and block sunlight from reaching fish and plants. When the algae die off, the microbes decompose the dead algae and use up more oxygen, causing more fish and plants to die. It can also produce toxins that are dangerous to people and animals and raise treatment costs for water. Requiring a soil test every three years helps ensure that significant phosphorous amounts are kept out of our waterways. 

What Is a Soil Analysis?

soil analysis is a detailed breakdown of your soil’s elements. It will tell you whether or not you are low in nutrients and, if so, which ones. It will also tell you what your soil’s pH level is. If there are any contaminants in your soil, the analysis will indicate that as well. You can buy soil tests at most home goods and garden stores or even have one mailed to you from local universities, but we suggest that you have a professional lawn care company that specializes in soil analysis visit your home. A trained technician will visit your property, secure a few small samples from different parts of your yard and then present you with the overall results.

Benefits of Having a Soil Test

There are many different reasons that having your soil tested is important. Every plant, including your grass, has its preferred range of soil acidity, and when the pH level is out of range, a host of problems may follow. Poor soil quality may be holding your grass back from its healthy potential. Having it tested will allow lawn care professionals to understand your soil better and determine if there is a particular nutrient it needs more or less of. For example, phosphorous helps your grass’s cell development, and potassium helps with root development and stress recovery. If either of these nutrients are low, the results from the soi test will help lawn care professionals recommend to you how to improve it. 

What Does pH Level Mean?

The pH level is the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. In this case, the substance is your soil. A soil’s pH level is measured on a scale from zero to 14. Seven is considered the neutral zone. Numbers above seven typically mean there is a higher level of acidity. Most plants here in the Frederick area are over seven and considered acidic. This results from many different factors including excessive rainfall, over-fertilization, drought, and other environmental factors. But unfortunately, poor soil quality affects water quality, increases the risk of flooding, and promotes poor grass quality.

Save the Hassle! Royal Greens Offers a Complete Soil Analysis With Our Highly Effective Lawn Care Programs

Royal Greens is a local company that knows our state rules and regulations, and our local climate and soil type. When you sign up as a Royal Green customer, we take a soil test on your property. We will take the information and, based upon the results, make recommendations on how we can improve it. These recommendations may include:

  • The increase in nutrient levels
  • Balancing pH levels
  • Building up organic matter

With Royal Greens by your side, you never have to worry about taking the time to test your own soil, decipher the results or figure out how to correct any problems on your own. Based on our findings, we’ll develop a customized plan to enrich your soil and get it to its healthiest levels. Learn more about our soil testing as well as our different lawn care programs by visiting our website or contacting us now. You can reach us by phone at 301-683-5371 or use our online contact us form.

Resident or Business in Montgomery County?

We also have a program specific to the needs of our residents and businesses who live in Montgomery County. Because Montgomery County currently has a law restricting the use of certain pesticides, weed, and feed, including fertilizer and herbicides, it’s much easier to leave lawn care to the pros. With a Maryland Fertilizer Application License, we understand the different rules and are trained and equipped to handle anything that comes our way.

Contact us now to learn more and let’s get started on a more vibrant, healthier lawn.

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