“Soil testing is the first step in knowing what treatments will help your soil,” said Sandra Ellis, project manager for the City of Corpus Christi.
To help people improve the look and condition of their yards and gardens, the city of Corpus Christi demonstrated how to properly dig up soil to get a proper sample tested.
“If you’ve never fertilized you might get a result back that says you need fertilizer if you have fertilized before you might get a result back that you don’t need fertilizer,” said Ellis.
Ellis says people who want really green grass or tall luscious flowers, can be driven to over fertilize which is actually unhealthy.
“Sometimes people use too much because they think a little is good so a lot is great,” said Ellis.
Kevin Gibbs with the Texas A&M AgriLife compares the improper use of fertilizer to the health of the human body.
“You would never just run into your medicine cabinet when youre not feeling well and just start shoving stuff and it’s the same way with the soil,” said Gibbs. “Maybe your soil already has enough nutrients present and you don’t need to add nitrogen or phosphorus, or potassium.
And what people may not realize is how it can affect everyone. An excess amount of fertilizer can actually have a negative impact on our bays and estuaries.
There are plants that exist in our bays and estuaries that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
“What happens at first is that the plants grow which seems like it would be good but then unfortunately some of them have short life cycles so they die fairly quickly and when they die they start to rot,” said Ellis.
And the bacteria present when those plants rot use up the oxygen that is meant for fish and other sea creatures.
So to remedy the issue before it begins the City is encouraging everyone to dig up just a few inches into their yards and gardens
“Plant roots grow in about the top 12 inches of soil the most of the soil is coming from that zone,” said Gibbs.
And send it in to get tested at any of 9 locations available.
1) Bay Area Landscape Nursery, 5902 S. Staples St.
2) City Hall, Information Booth, 1201 Leopard St
3) City of Corpus Christi Water Utilities Building, 2726 Holly Rd
4) Ethel Eyerly Senior Center, 654 Graham Rd
5) Gill’s Landscape Nursery, 2810 Airline Rd
6) Owen R. Hopkins Public Library, 3202 McKinzie Rd
7) South Texas Botanical Gardens, 8545 S Staples St
8) Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 710 E Main St Ave
9) Turner’s Gardenland, 6503 S. Padre Island Drive