Healthy soil is the foundation of successful gardening. The first step to cultivating healthy soil is having your soil tested. One of the most important things the soil test measures is soil pH, or how acidic or basic your soil is. Soil pH levels in North Carolina range anywhere from 3.5 (very acidic) to 8.0 (basic) or higher. Most ornamental plants, vegetables, fruits, and lawns prefer to grow in soils where the pH is 5.5 to 6.5.
Soil test results will also tell you which nutrients you need to apply for the type of plants you are growing. If nutrients are needed, they can be supplied with either natural (organic) or synthetic fertilizers.