Gardners get the know-how on soil conditions thanks to Yorkshire lab

Gardeners wanting an expert opinion on the quality of their soil now have access to the science behind the pitches at the FIFA World Cup, following the launch of an innovative new soil testing website.

Launched by STRI, the world’s leading turfgrass consultancy, the STRI Soil Test website provides gardeners with information on how to send in a soil sample and get a comprehensive report which shows soil health, indicates problem areas and helps to assess the best course of action.

Soil imbalances can reduce plant health and strength and leave them susceptible to damage from drought, diseases and insects.

Through testing and analysing the soil, gardeners can understand and improve soil conditions and ensure the best growing conditions for plants and flowers.

STRI is offering three types of tests in its Yorkshire lab facilities, which measure soil pH value, seven separate elements, including phosphorous and potassium, six different metals, such as zinc and lead as well as measuring the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) value which shows how well the soil is holding nutrients.

Gardeners simply choose which test they wish to be carried out and then submit soil samples via a freepost address to the experts at STRI.

Once the samples have been received they will be analysed in the internationally accredited labs at STRI’s research facilities in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

The labs are where tests for some of the biggest sporting events in the world are carried out including soil analysis and turf research for the imminent 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Wimbledon and The Open 2014 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.  All the packages offered provide a report detailing soil health, any issues and a recommended course of action.

Ruth Mann, head of Research at STRI said:

“STRI is the world’s leading consultancy for the design, research and management of natural turf and as a leading authority in this field we offer effective solutions and independent advice to thousands of clients across the globe.

“Thanks to this new service we are now able to provide valuable and expert analysis to gardeners of all abilities and we can do this quickly, and accurately.

“A full understanding of the nutritional values of soil is essential so that healthy grass, flowers, plants, vegetables and fruit can be produced and grown.

“It is also vital to know the causes behind any sort of problems gardeners are facing, such as discolouration of grasses, yellowing of foliage or flowers drooping or dying.

“The STRI soil test and website allows gardeners of all abilities to gain valuable insight and information to ensure their soils are in prime condition.”

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