blueberry72dpiFor any new planting, it’s good to get a soil test for pH.

Plants require a particular pH in order for the roots to effectively absorb nutrition from the soil. You can add all the right fertilizers but if the pH is wrong for the plant, it won’t benefit.

Ward’s will be offering free soil pH testing as part of our upcoming 62nd Anniversary Celebration on Saturday May 18th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Please bring in a sample for any area of your landscape where you hope to plant.

Instructions for taking a soil test sample:

  • A soil sample should be representative of the area to be tested. First, decide how many distinct areas you want tested. Soil characteristics within a sampling area should be fairly uniform. That is, physical appearance, texture, color, sunlight, slope, drainage and past fertilization history should be similar throughout the area.
  • Next, using a clean bucket and trowel, take 10 to 12 vertical slices from random spots within the area and mix them well in the bucket. Slices should be as deep as the rooting zone for your particular crop. Avoid sampling very wet or recently fertilized soils. Also, samples should not be obtained from the edge of the field or plot.
  • Scoop out approximately ONE CUP of soil and spread it on a piece of paper to dry. When the sample is dry, transfer it to a sandwich-sized re-sealable bag. Write a sample name on the outside. A sample name is whatever you wish to call it (i.e., front of lawn, veggie garden, etc.)
  • Bring your sample to Ward’s on Saturday May 18th for our Jonathan Green representative to test the pH of your soil


For a more comprehensive analysis:

Submit your sample to the University of Massachusetts Agricultural Extension department. Here’s a link to their prices and submission guidelines. Soil Testing at UMass Amherst.

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