2009-03-19 / News

MSU Extension provides soil testing service

In view of a new Roscommon County ordinance which bans most uses of fertilizers containing phosphorus, home owners may want to have their soil tested.

The ordinance, which took effect Jan. 1, prohibits use of fertilizers containing phosphorus, except for soils which tests show will not support a lawn without the fertilizer and lawns in their first growing season.

The Roscommon County MSU Extension office provides soil testing service at $15 per sample. To have your soil tested, bring about two cups of soil that is representative of your lawn or garden area to the MSU Extension office in the Roscommon County Building in Roscommon.

It takes about two weeks to send the sample to the MSU Soil Laboratory for processing and get the results back. Russell Kidd, Roscommon County Extension Director, then analyzes the results and provides clients with a custom set of recommendations for any lime or fertilizer that is needed.

For information, call 275-5043.

County commissioners enacted the ordinance in an attempt to keep phosphorous from entering area lakes, where it causes accelerated growth of aquatic plants, including algaes and the invasive species Eurasian watermilfoil. Excessive plant growth can lead to oxygen depletion, and in essence, choke the life out of a lake.

Kidd said additional phosphorous is not needed in most of the soils in Roscommon County.

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