Soil Testing

soil sample

A soil sample is the first step to a healthy organic lawn.

HARRINGTON’S SOIL TESTING LABORATORY

Don’t guess when you can test!
The road to a healthy beautiful landscape begins with a full laboratory soil analysis. The sample is brought to our laboratory for a complete analysis. The results provide a blueprint of your soil’s chemistry. This proactive approach helps us to understand just what your soil requires. Follow-up testing is done once every three years. In some cases we do leaf, compost, compost tea and soil bio-assays.

Our laboratory opened in 2007 to serve as both a research and soil testing facility. Our state-of-the-art equipment enables us to research and evaluate the efficacy of new products, provide in-house quality control, and learn more about how microbes affect soil fertility and plant health. Our lab performs soil chemistry and soil biology testing.

Soil Testing Instructions

Soil Test Submission Form

 

SOIL CHEMISTRY ANALYSIS

Basic Chemistry Test
Includes organic matter & soil moisture content, pH, cation exchange capacity, % base saturation, electrical conductivity
Nutrients: nitrate nitrogen, sulfur, boron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium

Basic Plus Test
Includes all Basic Test analyses plus trace minerals: iron, copper, zinc, manganese

Todd Harringtn taking a soil sample near the Washington Monument

Complete Chemistry Test
Includes all analyses in Basic and Basic Plus. Comparison of Melich 1 and Melich 3 extractable nutrients informs us of the total amount of nutrients available in the soil versus the amount of nutrients which are readily plant-available.

**All Soil Chemistry Tests include interpretations and recommendations of organic products. Ammonium and nitrogen values can also be measured at an additional cost.

SOIL BIOLOGY ANALYSIS
The methodology for analyzing soil health based on identifying and quantifying soil micro-organisms was developed by Dr. Elaine Ingham. After 30+ years of studying and improving soils, she and Soil Foodweb Inc. have identified optimal soil microbe ratios for compost, compost teas, crops, landscape plants, trees, and shrubs. Soil, compost, and compost tea samples sent here to our lab will be analyzed for microbial diversity and compared with optimal ranges. Interpretations of test data can be included or excluded. If you want organic product recommendations based on a biological soil test, a phone consultation will need to be scheduled with Todd Harrington and added charges will apply. Our laboratory is working towards becoming a Soil Foodweb Certified Laboratory.

Qualitative Package
Determines the presence or absence of microbes (bacteria, fungi, ciliates, amoebae, and flagellates) and rates them from Not Present to Very High Levels. Also includes E.coli, pH, electrical conductivity, and percent organic matter. While specific recommendations cannot be determined from this assay, it will give you a general overview of what is present/absent from your soil, compost, or compost tea.

Basic Foodweb
Quantifies the biomass ratios of total/active bacteria and total/active fungi. This test provides us the information to develop a basic program to adjust bacterial and fungal imbalances. Active bacteria/fungi are those that are currently cycling nutrients; total bacteria/fungi include active and dormant microbes.

Complete Foodweb
Quantifies total and active bacteria, total and active fungi, and presence/absence of protozoa. Eventually we will also offer nematode identification. Nematodes are a large group of tiny worms that can either benefit plants or cause disease. A diverse array of nematodes is a good indicator of healthy soils.

Complete Foodweb + Mycorrhizae
This test is available for soil samples only, not for compost or compost tea. It includes all assays in the Complete Foodweb plus mycorrhizal colonization. This test determines what percentage of the plant roots are colonized and can also detect signs of disease or other damage.

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  • NOFA

    Affiliations

    • NOFA - Northeast Organic Farming Association (Ogranic Land Care Committee Member)
    • ISA - International Society of Aboraculture
    • CTPA - Connecticut Tree Protection Association


  • Testimonials

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    For four years now, Harrington’s has helped me convert my herbicide and pesticide dependent yard into a healthy organic lawn. Our experience with Harrington’s has been a dream. From the start, they gave us a very realistic multi-year plan for our yard, sketching out how they would help our lawn detox from its dependence on …

    I signed up for the yearly premium service. They come out seven times, spray weeds and do seeding. They also put compost tea down. Their technician Jay is very good. He told me with the organic service it takes about three years to see results. They aren’t using the heavy poisons that others use, but it increases …

    I hired Harringtons as I wanted to change to organic lawn care. I’ve been very happy with their service to date.  Staff are knowledgeable and easy to work with and customer service has been exceptional!   Kathleen,  BLOOMFIELD, CT

    I cannot begin to express how amazing your work is and how thankful we are for your vacation time taken to talk to us about the details of this amazing technology. Attached is a pic of you teaching the course. Thank you so much for taking the time to lead this wonderful lecture. We were …

    Amazing results in reclaiming battered lawns! Highly knowledgeable lawn, shrub and tree care staff  provide expert care for your property. Organic fertilizers and weed and pest control,  so no pesticides which are harmful to bees, birds or you. Excellent detailed feedback on the state of your lawn and trees & shrubs.  Jo,  Hartford