Getting Your Garden Started Part 1: The Importance of Soil Testing

I hear it all the time: “I’ve never been able to grow anything!” “I have such a black thumb!” “I don’t even know where to start!”

I happen to believe that anyone can grow food. It is inescapably in our blood. You just need to know a few things about your plants and what they need. Of course you already know that plants all need a certain amount of sunlight and water, but one of the most important but often overlooked elements to gardening is soil testing.

Having your soil tested before you put anything in the ground will tell you exactly what you need to add to your growing area in order to give your plants exactly what they need in order to grow strong and produce heavy yields. This crucial step will ensure that your efforts of transplanting, weeding, watering, and cultivating will be well worth it!

The process is quite easy and involves scooping dirt from various points of your garden, depending on the size, tossing in a bag, and delivering it to your local extension office and paying a small fee. Here is a link to Clemson’s Soil Testing Page for more explicit instructions. When you receive your results just a few days later, you will also receive tips for adding whatever nutrients your soil needs. Those nutrients are simple to find and to add!

So, to those of you who think you don’t know how to grow food, it could all be in your soil, and that is an easy fix!

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