NC Commissioner Troxler: Free Soil Testing Returns to Agronomic Services Lab
The Agronomic Services lab peak-season fees will end March 31, making soil testing free again for state residents. Spring is a good time for homeowners to submit soil samples for testing to ensure they apply the proper nutrients for optimal growth for their lawns and gardens.
- With warmer weather, people are eager to get out in their yards and start planting gardens and getting their yards in order.
- Garden centers and farmers markets are full of plants. And I imagine quite a few home gardeners have started some plants from seed indoors to get a jump start on outdoor planting.
- Mid-April typically gets us past the threat of frost in North Carolina, something growers have to be mindful of. Folks just have a couple of more weeks to be patient.
- Beginning April 1, free soil testing returns to the Agronomic Services lab as we wrap up the last month of peak-season fees.
- Peak-season fees were implemented to help encourage growers and residents to submit soil samples early to avoid the fee and manage the flow of samples into the lab. Those run from November through the end of March.
- Every April, peak-season fees are lifted, making it a good time for homeowners to submit samples for their yards and gardens.
- Warm-season grasses and many landscape plants will benefit from lime and fertilizer applied in the coming months.
- If you haven’t already done so, there is still time to take samples from fields where you intend to plant late spring crops like burley tobacco, cotton, and bermudagrass pastures.
- In April, the lab can normally process samples within two weeks.
- Our agronomists would advise you to pay particular attention to lime recommendations when you receive your report and make application as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness.
- Soil testing is also a good way to save money and be environmentally smart by applying only what nutrients are needed for optimal growth.
- You can prepare your soil samples now and wait to submit them on April 1 to avoid the peak-season fee.