Test Your Soil to Grow What You Love

April 15, 2024

Summer may be fading, but as you step out into the sunlight this month and start thinking about fall planting it’s a great time to think about testing your soil in order to make the right feeding choices for upcoming crops. – new garden beds, rejuvenated lawns, and healthy, blooming plants. But where do you start?

Shovel with Soil

Testing is the most accurate way to feed your yard, but many gardeners skip this step and go straight to fertilizers. A balanced fertilizer like 16-16-16 will cover all the bases for roots, shoots, and fruits. But often, your plants don’t need everything. And even more often, they may need a boost of something that isn’t satisfied by a balanced diet. When testing is so easy to do, there’s no reason not to.

Pink Glove and Shovel Digging into Soil

By testing the soil in several areas of your space, using Wilco’s Premium Soil Test Kit, you will be able to capture a snapshot of the nutrients it has and the ones it is lacking, as well as get a qualified recommendation on what you can do to improve it. You can do this in your lawn, your vegetable garden, or flower beds by using the same simple method.

Wilco, Premium Soil Test Kit

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When you’ve decided on an area to test, take a look at the whole space. I chose to test my lawn. Using a sturdy trowel, dig a hole two to four inches deep and scoop about a half cup of dirt into the soil sample bag. Repeat this three more times in three different sections of the space, adding soil from each hole into the same bag.

Remember when choosing different areas that if you typically have moss in one area, and browning lawn in another, it may be beneficial to test those areas separately as they’ll likely require different solutions.

Soil Kit Bag and Shovel with Soil

When you’ve added all four samples to the bag, roll the top closed and secure it. Fill in your name on the side and follow the instructions to register your sample at

  1. Register your kit – top right corner button.
  2. Fill in the soil kit number from the bottom of your yellow registration card (or scan QR code if using the app).
  3. Fill in your address/location.
  4. Be ready to estimate the size of the area you are testing – you can use google maps to make a rough estimate
  5. If you are testing a lawn, it will ask you what type of grass you have. It’s ok if you don’t know. Most PNW lawns are a mixture of fescue and ryegrass.
  6. Click “Register” and then it will ask you to create a password.
  7. When it prompts you for your registration ID again, just exit out of it.
  8. The dashboard is where you will come to look at your test results.

Soil Kit Instructions

After everything is set online, drop your sample bag into the provided mailing bag and send it off. Postage is paid for. You can track your sample’s progress by logging in to your online account. When your results are in, you will get an email to let you know. From there, you can plan what fertilizers you need to add to your space.

Feeding your yard should be about giving it what it needs. The only way to know what nutrients are lacking is by testing. Not only is it quick and easy, it makes sure that you are spending your money where you need to and not on extra nutrients your yard doesn’t need. So this year, make a pledge to really get to know your yard. Check in with that blueberry patch, explore the rocky flower bed, and get down and dirty with that lawn. By testing your soil, you may just add more excitement to your yard just by feeding it properly.

We would love to see your planting projects, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.