Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants

Soil health is the foundation of ecosystem health.  How do you know if soil is healthy?  The answer is soil testing.  There are a variety of tests that can be run on soil samples.  Soil tests like those found at your local garden center provide relative values of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N-P-K tests) and help homeowners to grow better grass, vegetables or flowers.   Soil samples can also be sent to laboratories for more detailed analyses.  Traditional tests do not measure the biological component of soils which is a key indicator of soil health.  One test we use in our research is the Haney test which provides both chemical and biological data.  The respiration measurement from the tests indicates microbial activity in the soil.