Updated: Sep 23
Our Soil Test Solutions protocol is a result of a former organic lawn care company of mine called A Natural Approach. Our business model involved zero chemicals, the purpose of the service was to do nothing more than to grow the capacity of soil to be soil.
We used compost tea to introduce living microbes, and we developed our Soil Test Solutions process for attaining healthy mineral balance. It worked wonders.
My passion has never been to grow lawns, I would much rather help you grow something that you can eat! But it turns out that the lawn is a great way to make a point about soil health. Would you believe that by the third season of our organic lawn care company we were developing enough feel for the process that we could tell clients the deficiencies in their soil based on the weed spectrum growing in the lawn?
Just like pest and disease issues we experience in our gardens and landscapes, these issues are indicators. It turns out weeds have a purpose, they literally want your grass to grow!
Weeds are medicinal herbs for the landscape. They are growing aggressively in a single season as an annual plant in order to die and deliver what they fix from the air and the subsoil to the topsoil in order to bring balance and maturity to the ecosystem. Along with soil microbes, weeds are the only mechanism Mother Nature has to grow up and get stronger.
Trust me, I realize the irony in this logic relative to the story of the evil weed we have been telling ourselves for so many years. And the process takes time, and will not stop weeds from growing on open soil in the garden. But developing an understanding towards how Nature works and respecting the process rather than trying to force our hand is paramount. Herein is the power of perspective - what we think, we grow!
The reality is there may be no worse soil environment in the world than a developed piece of property in a residential landscape. The soil is typically cheap fill from a contracting company and unless the homeowner has simply ignored the yard the ecosystem is perpetually doused in cheap empty artificial fertilizers and biocides. The soil doesn't stand a chance!
The logic we are applying here rings true if you let it, trying to kill what we don’t want only stresses what we do, and the results of toxic rescue chemistry wane over time until they don’t work anymore. There ARE living solutions.
The same logic is true with pests and disease. Pests are actually attracted to unhealthy plants through infrared vibrations (like how they are attracted to light bulbs), and they are actually unable to digest plants that produce complete proteins. That's right, the best defense against pests is a healthy plant.
Disease occurs in plants for the same reasons humans get sick on a fast food diet. The pathogens that manifest in disease are everywhere all the time, we don't live in a bubble. The toxic irony of conventional gardening methods is that too much of the energy is spent trying to kill everything except what we want to grow and sanitize the environment, which in combination with weak plants leaves them vulnerable to the attack from the pathogens!
The reality is that all of the common issues in a lawn or garden are a result of a weakness in the ecosystem that needs strengthening. Pests did not happen to fly by your neighborhood and land on your plants. The weeds did not come from your neighbors yard. And disease is not just a case of bad luck. Mother Nature has a rhythm to her rhyme.
What this means is that with a focus on balance and health we can regenerate our gardens and landscapes. It may take a couple of seasons to get things where we want them, but I guarantee you will see the signs of progress immediately, and it will only get better with time.
Herein is the purpose of the Soil Test Solutions process. The soil test is part of it, but we go way beyond just generating data.
Listen to Evan describe the science behind the process:
Here are some answers to some questions you are probably asking:
What do I need to do to get started?
Be Agriculture uses Logan Labs to generate the soil test data. We then use that data to perform the Soil Test Solutions Rx that will tell you what you need to achieve dynamic mineral balance. There are times when we may recommend you not to do the Soil Test Solutions Rx, such as when your CEC is so low that a cover crop may make more sense.
Use the following link to submit a soil sample to Logan Labs: CLICK HERE
The results should take 7-10 days to turn around. When you get the results simply email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review your data and provide a recommendation for moving forward.
How is Soil Test Solutions more than a soil test?
We go beyond traditional soil testing. First, we use private labs that look for all of the essential elements required for complete plant nutrition. Many labs and Extension offices only look for the macronutrients. The Law of the Minimum applies here, meaning if one essential element is missing the entire system struggles. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And how do you know what's missing if you don't look?
Second, not only are we generating complete data, but we are crunching the numbers to provide a prescription of minerals that correspond to the deficiencies we find in your soil. This is literally a custom report just for you and your soil!
Third, in addition to the mineral balance we are seeking, we will provide guidance on how to think about and achieve healthy physical, biological, and energetic balance in your soil. We call this BioEnergetic Agriculture. Click this link and read more about it on our blog.
Do you offer discounts for multiple tests?
Yes, we can offer $25 per test if you are doing 5+ at a time.
After I receive the report, what’s next?
Put your results into action! Most, if not all, of the materials we will recommend you source to use can be purchased locally or on our website. Seven Springs Farm Supply is a good resource for the minerals if you cannot find them locally.
I look forward to working with you, and am excited to take the next step in your growing success!
Evan Folds – “The Soil Doctor”