Get a jump on preparing your garden soil for next year. While putting your gardens to bed for the winter take a soil sample.
For information on how to take a soil sample go to http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/gardening/how-to-take-a-soil-sample Bring the soil sample to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office at 123 Lake Street, Cooperstown and your soil will be tested for pH and you will be advised on the need to amend you soil and how to do this. You can also arrange to submit your sample to Cornell University for further analysis. There is a cost to these tests/analysis.
Another way to receive a pH test of your soil would be to take part in Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners soil testing program held in conjunction with selected Otsego County libraries. Starting on October 9 and running through October 28, Otsego County residents may drop off a soil sample at libraries in the following villages: Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Edmeston, Gilbertsville, Hartwick, Milford, Morris, Oneonta, Otego, Richfield Springs, Springfield, Unadilla and Worcester. Soil Samples should be dropped off during regular library hours. A simple form, obtainable from the Master Gardener display at the library, will need to be filled out indicating where the sample was taken, what the resident wants to grow and contact information. Samples will be collected from the libraries by a Master Gardener and taken to the extension office in Cooperstown where they will be analyzed for pH. The results and recommendations will be mailed to the resident during early to mid-November. Gardeners will then be able to make necessary soil amendments prior to winter. The $3 charge for the pH testing will be waived during this program. Only one soil sample per resident will be processed at no charge. To have additional samples analyzed arrangements should be made with the county extension office.
Why take a soil test? The following website article from the Cooperative Extension in Hawaii, though far away and with a very different growing climate and soil tells us why pH and nutrient analysis is important in the garden. www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/SCM-9.pdf
Last updated November 4, 2014