Are Soil Test Kits Accurate or Should I Hire a Professional?

If you have ever stood puzzled, looking at your lawn and trying to figure out what’s going on with it, it could be that there's a problem beneath the surface that requires diagnosing. Whether it’s a soil structure issue or maybe a nutrient composition concern, you may need to fix your soil before your lawn can start performing better.

Of course, if you’re in need of a soil test, you might be wondering about DIY lawn soil testing. You may have seen that they sell soil tests at the big box stores or hardware stores. But do home soil testers work? Or do you need professional lawn soil testing for the best results?

We’re here to answer your questions so that you can make the best decisions for your lawn.Healthy soil is key to a healthy lawn

What Does a Soil Test Kit Tell You?

A soil test involves using a specialized tool to take soil samples and have them tested for pH as well as nutrient makeup (levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Both are important when it comes to the health of your lawn. If your lawn has a soil pH that is difficult for grass to grow in, it could be why you’re struggling with weeds.
Soil pH meter
Or, if your lawn isn’t as green as you feel it could be, it might be that you have a nutrient imbalance that needs to be corrected.

This information is important when it comes to knowing what your lawn needs to perform its best.

Are Soil Test Kits Accurate?

If you are thinking about testing your soil, then you might be wondering how much you can trust the results.

The truth is, DIY lawn soil testing may not be as accurate as professional lawn soil testing that involves sending the soil samples to a laboratory for scientific analysis. Various studies have evaluated some of the test kits available to DIYers and found that accuracy really varied from one kit to another.

There can also be some confusion over what to do with the results.

Once you get your soil test results, you want to take action and follow through on correcting any potential problems. But many DIYers aren’t completely sure what their next steps are after receiving their lawn soil test results.

That’s why this might be a service that’s best left up to the pros. Not only can professional lawn soil testing get more accurate information, but a pro should know exactly what to do next.

Is All Professional Lawn Soil Testing the Same?

It’s also worth noting that not all pros handle soil testing the same way. Unfortunately, some just perform it to make it look like they’re doing all the right things even though they’re not. If they’re not making any changes to your lawn care program, then they’re not actually doing anything to help your lawn.

Think of it like bloodwork.

If a blood test revealed that you had an issue with your health but you didn’t make any changes to correct it, you’re not going to see any improvements. Your next blood work results will be the same (if not worse).

It’s the same with your lawn. It’s the steps that a professional takes after receiving lawn soil test results that matter.Healthy soil and lawn roots

Professional Lawn Soil Testing with Master Lawn

At Master Lawn, we know the importance of what’s going on beneath the surface of our clients’ lawns has everything to do with what they see above the surface. That’s why if a lawn is struggling, we will always recommend a professional lawn soil test. It’s something that we can add on to our lawn care programs.

When we perform a lawn soil test, we look closely at the results and what needs to be done to correct any problems with the lawn. You might be surprised to know that you and your neighbor could have completely different soil makeup, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to the results.
Aerial view of a lush green lawn
We know that lawn soil health is often undervalued which is why we commend you for even looking into it and asking questions about DIY lawn soil testing and whether it’s worth it.

It’s our goal to help you achieve the best possible lawn results and we want to help set you up for success with all of the right tools! A lawn soil test is just one piece of the puzzle. At the end of the day, it’s what you do with those results that matters. You want to make sure that you have a comprehensive and effective lawn care program that will help take your lawn to the next level.

Ready to finally have that lush green lawn at your Memphis, TN or Olive Branch, MS home? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.

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Image Source: Soil pH Meter

Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

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