What Soils Do I Have?
There are multiple ways to find out more about your soil, it all depends upon what you would like to know:
Web Soil Survey (WSS)
The Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. This online resource has replaced the Soil Survey books of years past. If you have any questions about the web soil survey, please feel free to contact us at 513-887-3720.
How Do I Get My Soil Tested for Nutrients?
Butler SWCD works with the Ohio State Extension office of Butler County for soils testing.
Visit the Butler OSU office, (next door to ours in 1802 Princeton Rd, Hamilton) for a soil test packet. The cost varies depending upon the testing you request. You can also contact them at 513-887-3722 or visit their https://butler.osu.edu/program-areas/agriculture-and-natural-resources/soil-testing-field-and-crop
You will need a soil probe, auger, or spade, and a clean plastic pail, as well as a soil test packet.
Using your digging tool take a small sample of the soil about 6-8 inches deep and place the sample in the pail. In total collect about 15 – 20 samples that are uniformly distributed throughout your yard so that the results will be representative of the entire area.
All of the samples should be mixed together thoroughly in the pail and then transferred to a soil sample baggie until it is ¾ full.
Send the sample to Michigan State where it will be analyzed. The shipping address in in the soil test packet. You should receive test results in about two weeks. The analysis takes 3 to 5 working days from the time the lab receives the samples.
When you receive the results you can select the appropriate fertilizer nutrient ratio for your lawn/garden. This ratio is always displayed on the fertilizer bag.
How Do I Test My Soils Texture?
All you need is water and this soil texture flow chart.
How Well Does My Soil Drain?
You can conduct a soil percolation (perc) test yourself, or hire a contractor. When it comes to creating rain gardens this is something you can easily do yourself, but for siting septic tanks, a professional will need to be consulted.