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Free soil tests available for gardeners in King County


Ever wonder if there’s anything to blame your plants’ failure on besides your lack of a green thumb? Right now, gardeners in King County can get a free evaluation of their soil to see if they can point the finger at that.

The King Conservation District, which covers most all of King County, is offering free soil tests for residents.

“Folks will send in the sample. We mail them out to A & L Labs in Portland, Ore. and they’ll do the analysis and they also do a recommendation,” King Conservation District’s Jay Mirro tells Gardening with Ciscoe host Ciscoe Morris.

Mirro says the Conservation District will also include a test interpretation guide so that you can make appropriate adjustments to make your soil a more ideal environment for growth.

“Soil testing is a great way to kind of get a snapshot of what is going on in your soils. We grow plants, maybe we add compost, maybe we add some fertilizer, and the plants live and grow and make our vegetables or fruits and some plants will die. But with a soil test, you can kind of see, OK how did I do? Did I put too much fertilizer on? Do I need more?” says Mirro.

The program is offering five free soil tests per each King County address. The tests should give you a better idea of the level of fertilizer you should be using or any other agents you may need to make your garden really grow.

Gardening with Ciscoe with Ciscoe Morris can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. on demand at

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