UT-TSU Extension in Wayne County gets many calls and questions concerning growing plants. These questions come from folks in production agriculture growing hundreds of acres of field crops, to the backyard gardener who has 1 tree, 2 shrubs and an indoor house plant. The one thing that all plants have in common is their need for certain nutrients. Some soils have more nutrients needs than others, while some plants have different nutrient needs than others. The amount of nutrients found in the soils also changes with time and with what is growing on them.

   All the information above is given to prove the importance of performing regular soil testing. Doing a very simple and inexpensive soil test will provide a very thorough soil analysis and following this will make your fertility program much more efficient and your plants much more productive.

   Taking a soil sample is very easy. Consider first your field, plot, or bed where your plants will be or are already growing. Randomly go to approximately 10 different spots within your area and go down to a 6-inch depth and take up a handful of soil. Place each handful of soil into a container, like a bucket. When you have your 10 sub-samples, mix them together attaining one random sample. The University of Tennessee Soil, Plant and Pest Center that analyzes soil samples needs only 1 cup of fairly dry soil to perform the test. For field crops and forages a different sample is recommended for every 10 acres or anywhere you intend to fertilize or treat your crop differently.

   In 3-5 days, you will receive a report on your soil test that gives you the pH, phosphorous, and potassium levels. From this the UT Extension Soil Lab will make appropriate recommendations on the amount of lime, phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen that you should apply and provide you with other details like when you should apply each. Each sample’s report is also sent to the local Extension Office to help us answer your questions about the soil test. Soil Sample Boxes and forms are available at the Wayne County Extension Office, and more information about soil

testing can be found at the UT Soil, Plant and Pest Center at:

https://ag.tennessee.edu/spp/Pages/default.aspx.

Upcoming Events

   Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Certification Class will be offered at the Wayne Co. Extension Office on September 5th at 6 pm and September 12th at 6 pm. Please call Anita at 722-3229 to register for the night that best suits your schedule. Remember you must have a current BQA number in order to apply for the TN Ag Enhancement Program. The TAEP application period is coming up fast (Oct. 1-15).

   Lawrence/Wayne County Cattlemen’s Association Fall Meeting: The Lawrence/Wayne County Cattlemen’s Association will be hosting a Fall Beef Cattle educational meeting on Tuesday, September 10th beginning at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be at the Woodmen of the World in Waynesboro. The address is 424 S. Main Street, Waynesboro. We will begin the meeting with a sponsored meal so we ask you to please RSVP Anita at the Wayne Co. Extension Office (722-3229) by September 6th if you plan to attend.

The Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program (TAEP) application period will be October 1 – 15.  We will have applications in our office next week for anyone to pick up.  Anita will be happy to help you complete the application or help with questions.

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