How soil testing can assist in landscaping and building projects

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Soil testing is not a new process to the landscaping and construction industry. Testing the soil in a backyard or in an empty lot can allow for a snapshot of the chemical properties to be identified in the soil as well as monitoring the changes in the properties of the soil. Having knowledge of the health of the soil you want to work can increase your chances of productivity and building success.

Gardening and farming

For optimum plant nutrition, there are a variety of soil testing services and kits that can be used on gardens and agriculture farms to ensure the soil to be used is in the right conditions for planting fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees and for allowing cattle to graze without having to worry about their health.

Standard garden soil tests comprise of cations and plant nutrients, making it a valuable test for general garden planting and development. This can assist in ensuring the highest possible quality from garden produce as well in the planning stages and to better understand the conditions of a new garden.

Building projects

When it comes to building on a plot of land, the soil testing process is one that many builders will recommend being undertaken before anything is built on the land, in some places it is a requirement. Known as a geotechnical report, these soil tests are scientific, standardised and regulated.

As soil is a living environment and also a naturally reactive substance, how it will react under diffident conditions will depend on the chemicals within the soil. If a house or building is built on reactive soil it can cause a lot of damage as it expands, contracts, shifts and settles again in response to moisture content. The reactivity of the soil can be compared against the proposed building plan to determine if it will be an issue in the future or not.

Some soils have greater potential to shift than others and this potential is important to know before any building work is undertaken to ensure the correct materials will be used.

In addition to the eight classifications of soil reactivity, knowing the level of soil reactivity and chemical makeup can and will vastly affect the results of plant and tree growth as well as the health of agricultural farms and building sites. While it may sound like an arbitrary process, soil testing can seriously make or break your efforts to landscape and build.