Earth Day! Soil Health Science

By April 19, 2024Pleasant Valley Orchard

Sampling our soils and sending them to a soils lab for analysis is an annual thing. We take samples from the orchard, the strawberry fields and the pumpkin fields.

Did you know that twenty percent or more of the energy that plants take in from the sun results in the plant roots expelling various organic compounds into the soil through their roots? These organic materials feed the millions of living organisms that live in the root zone and make nutrients available to the plants.

Our friends at the soil lab take our soil samples (yes, I know, it’s a little weird to send dirt through the mail) and do a chemical extraction that mimics this natural process. Based on the tests we can estimate which nutrients we should add to keep the plants healthy and to produce a nice harvest. This also helps us to not overapply nutrients. Remember—there’s a lot going on the few inches of soil beneath our feet!