I’ve never tested my soil before, but it never really seemed like soil before. When we dug up the side yard to convert it into a garden, it was nothing but sand. When we planted, we always added Black Kow; it’s a brand of composted cow manure. It helps sandy soil hold moisture. John’s dad is a long-time Floridian home gardener; it’s what he uses. Over the past two years, we’ve continuously rotated squares always using one as a compost area to bury kitchen scraps and yard waste. We’re finally seeing a real difference. The earthworms haven’t made a home here yet, but the soil is much darker and a lot less sandy.
The results of the pH test are in; the soil gets an 8.0 for alkaline. It was so easy – just add soil, the contents of the capsule, and water. Shake it all up and match up your color. In our case, we need to start burying more yard waste to lower the pH. Pine needles, leaves and sawdust will all add acid to soil. For now, I’m going to grab some free compost from Longwood Park. Sarasota County compost is made from their yard waste collection, so it should help. Butler, Laurel, Nokomis, and Shamrock parks also offer free compost and mulch.