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How to Obtain a Soil Sample

Prescott Farm’s landscape is typical of rural Aquidneck Island in the 18th and 19th centuries, with gentle sloping land, good soil, fields lined with stonewalls, and areas of scrub trees and brush. The farm is fortunate to have water on the property in the form of a brook and two small ponds, manifestly desirable in a “country seat” for a wealthy colonial gentleman.

The URI Master Gardeners, who manage the gardens at Prescott Farm, are offering:

Whether you are growing vegetables, flowers or simply caring for your lawn, proper soil is the key to good results. The trained Master Gardeners will evaluate the texture and pH of your soil sample, provide advice on improving your growing conditions, and tell you how to get more detailed testing. In addition, the Master Gardeners will offer advice on any gardening, lawn care, tree care or other questions you may have. (Weather dependent.) FREE soil analysis and gardening information at Prescott Farm on select Sundays, April through October, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

How to obtain a soil sample:

  • Using a clean trowel, take and combine several smaller samples in each separate area of your property that you want to test. Take a sample at a depth of 3-4″ for lawn, 6-8″ for vegetables and flowers and 12 -18″ for fruit trees. Do not sample recently fertilized, limed or very wet soil. You can take the sample from different parts of the lawn or garden.
  • Take approximately one cup of soil and spread it on a piece of paper to dry overnight.
  • Transfer the sample to a small zip-lock bag. Write on the bag your name and the type of plants you plan to grow and bring it with you.

Prescott Farm is located at 2009 West Main Road, Middletown, RI.

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