From the Ground up — the Soil Can Make All the Difference in Healthy, Thriving Plants

Gardeners can get pretty excited when choosing flowers or vegetables for their gardens, but to have success with growing, you need a strong foundation — and that is the soil.

Healthy soil leads to healthy and happy plants. It all starts from the ground up.

Soils vary tremendously from state to state and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some places have deep, rich native soils, while others have poorly drained clay soils, and others are a haven of rocks. Some soils are very acidic while others can be very alkaline.

Knowing what your yard contains to begin with is the starting point in knowing how to improve it. You should start with a soil test.

To take a soil sample, try to get a “core” of soil, a good trowel-full, roughly 6 inches deep from several areas in the garden. Mix the cores together and take one pint to your county office of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service ( Within a few weeks, you will get a computer analysis back, giving you a lot of information about your soil.