Is It Necessary to Test Your Soil for Pesticides?

Practicing organic lawn care means that you work hard to avoid pesticide use. Home remedies, companion planting and maintaining a healthy, strong lawn are all ways to avoid pests invading the grass and gardens in your yard. But pesticides are all over and they can make their way into your soil causing damage and at times affecting the efforts you’ve worked hard to achieve. Pesticide testing will allow you to find out whether your soil is contaminated, to what degree and by what pesticides. This information can help you educate your neighbors, the community and even have a much larger influence on the surrounding area which helps to create a better environment for all.
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What Pesticides Tests Will Look For

Whether you do a soil test kit at home or pay a lab to conduct the testing for you, this process is looking for the presence of various pesticides in your soil. If you live near an agricultural area, the NSP (or Non Source Pollutant) run off could be heavily present in your soil. Also, pesticides can come from neighboring lawns, from the air and from rain water and flooding or spring run offs.

How to Have a More Accurate Soil Test

It’s best to start the soil test knowing what type of specific pesticides you are looking for. When a neighbor is using a chemical-based fertilizer you may be concerned about leeching and spreading contamination. Find out what type of fertilizer is being used and search for the chemicals in that product for a more pinpointed and accurate result.

Likewise if there is a farm close by take your soil to the lab for testing along with the information you have about the farm – what type of crops they grow and any indication of pesticides or fertilizer that are used at that location.

Use a soil auger to gather the soil samples from a deeper location. This soil will be a better representative of the area and less disturbed by surface elements. Also, gather from various spots in the area to get a better overall test. Mark which areas you collected from for future reference.

If you are having a scientific lab conduct the testing, use any collection containers they give you and follow their directions to the letter. Remove all variables and use clean equipment for gathering and storing the samples.

What To Do About the Results of a Pesticide Test

These tests can be expensive, but the information that you gather will be very helpful to the entire area. In certain cases where contamination is not an issue you will feel better about the condition of your soil, making the process worthwhile. Other times these tests will find chemicals and pesticides that may be harmful. This information can be passed onto the appropriate authorities and used to enforce clean up and possibly prevent this from happening elsewhere. Scientific confirmation and information are important and will help to make for a cleaner, more eco friendly environment for all.

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