A Critical Key to Your Garden’s Success

A Critical Key to Your Garden’s Success

Unlocking the potential to a successful garden begins with soil testing. This entails taking representative physical soil samples within your garden or landscape to determine the pH level and nutrient content.


First, to create a beautiful garden or prolific plants; like a high performance athlete your garden requires specific nutrients in specific amounts at critical growth stages. If you don’t test, how are you going to know?

Second, to protect the environment, available soil nutrient levels and plant needs must be known. To not test and not know invites the probability of over fertilizing or creating nutrient imbalances. This results in added expense and potential environmental degradation to our waterways and aquifers.

Third, to obtain maximum plant health, proper nutrient ratios or correct relative amounts to one another must be maintained. Without testing, this is impossible. Incorrect nutrient balance ends up in poor plant performance, aesthetics and yield. Plant toxicity and nutrient runoff can result. Avoid these pitfalls.

Fourth, pH or the measure of the soil’s acidity is critical in determining nutrient availability. Most vegetables and ornamentals prefer a slightly acid soil pH 6-7. Iron and Manganese deficiencies are common in vegetable and ornamental plants in high alkaline or high pH soils. If your pH is not correct, nutrients become less available. Why fertilize if it’s not available? How are you going to know? Test.

Fifth, plants require 17 essential nutrients to maintain proper growth and development. In plant nutrient management there is “Liebig’s Law.” This law simply states that yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient, whichever nutrient it may be. How are you going to be sure no nutrients are limiting without a test?


Universities and commercial growers have developed over the last 20 years what we call “Best Management Practices” or BMP’s. At the top of the BMP list is soil testing. Higher profitability, higher quality plants, increased efficiencies, reduced potential pollution are reasons professionals test regularly.


Achieving success be it color or beauty or big fat juicy tomatoes is simply a matter of following a few common sense practices. One of those practices is soil testing. You don’t have to be a soil scientist, a chemist or plant pathologist to reap your landscape and garden rewards, but you do have to take soil tests and utilize the recommendations.

In conclusion,

What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done is an old saying in the business world, and it is true in nutrient management as well. To not spend more money than necessary; to avoid creating chemical and nutrient imbalances in the soil; to not potentially degrade the environment; and to have the most beautiful garden and landscape possible – regular soil testing is required. It is simple and the “ROI” is huge!

Because soil testing is such a significant practice in our customer’s success, BGI now offers complete soil testing services and recommendations. I strongly urge everyone to soil test and test regularly. It is a critical key in growing success – just ask any professional or commercial grower. Learn more about finding out what your garden needs by reaching out to BGI. Soil testing is a BMP, and one step closer to creating that beauty we all long for! After all,

“Beauty seen makes the one who sees it more beautiful.” David Steindl-Rast

Take care and get tested!