SOIL TESTING FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

"YOUR NUTRITION PROGRAM"

How can I purchase "Your Nutrition Program"?


Your Nutrition Program is included with the purchase of a Verified Soil Test Kit. Kits are available exclusively through these retailers.




How can retailers get involved in this program?


If you are a retailer looking to sell Verified Soil Test Kits at your location, please contact us using this form. We would love to hear from you!




What is "Your Nutrition Program"?


Launching in Spring 2021, this is the first product under the Verified brand. Your Nutrition Program is not your average Soil Test Report! The experts at A&L Canada Laboratories have applied decades of combined experience and knowledge in the field of agriculture to design a new solution for home lawn and garden nutrition. Your Nutrition Program is a complete, annual nutrition plan that is simple, affordable, and catered to the specific needs of your soil. This comprehensive program includes:

  • Soil test results from a professional laboratory.
  • Shopping List of specific products suited to the individual needs of your soil.
  • Monthly maintenance schedule for your intended end use.
  • Detailed product use guidelines.
To get started, pick up your Soil Test Kit from one of our participating retailers.




When can I expect to find this program in my area?


Your Nutrition Program is an entirely new initiative and, like any new product, requires a trial period. During the pilot year we will be working to identify and address any areas for improvement. In order to ensure the success of this project moving forward, we need to contain the initial launch. We hope to extend this program across Ontario by the end of 2022. Our long-term goal is to work with retailers throughout Canada. If you would like to stay informed as we improve access to this program, sign up for our newsletter here




Can I substitute for the products on my Shopping List?


Technically, yes. The analysis for those products can be found on the bag. It should be noted that the products on your Shopping List have been put in place to address regional deficiencies. You may experience difficulty finding suitable substitutions.




What will happen if I treat my entire property as one sample area?


By having your soil tested, you are ensuring proper application - the right products, at the right rate. If a sample area is too large, you may end up applying too much product to one area and too little to another. Keep in mind, your results are good for up to 3 years. Although it can be time consuming to collect multiple samples, it will be worth the trouble to ensure the most accurate program for your needs.




When can I start?


Your Nutrition Program can be started at any time! Refer to the month-to-month schedule on your report to get an idea of where to jump in. There is no bad time to submit your soil sample to the lab, we test all year round.





A&L RESIDENTIAL SOIL REPORT

How do I get products if I don't live in Southwestern Ontario?


Homeowners outside of the pilot area can still get their soil tested by A&L Canada Labs. Find your submission form here. Your test package will include suggested nutrient rates. However, these will need to be converted in order to determine suitable fertilizer products.




Where can I find fertilizer products with the proper analysis?


Many products on the market today - especially in the case of lawn fertilizers - are heavily focussed on nitrogen. To find products that will address phosphorus, potassium or magnesium requirements (without overloading with nitrogen) you may need to contact a farm supplier.





GENERAL FAQs

Where can I find the Residential Soil Submission Form?


"Your Nutrition Program" A submission form is included inside the Soil Test Kit. A&L Residential Soil Report Download the form here or by clicking the PDF icon above. This is the report option for those who do not live near one of our participating retailers. Unfortunately, this package does not include the "Your Nutrition Program" report. Click here for an example of the report you will receive.




How many samples should I submit?


For lawn, the rule of thumb is to treat your front yard and back yard as two separate areas. Learn why here. Also look for visual differences in growth. If one side of your back yard is patchy while the other is lush and green, you should collect two seperate samples for the back in addition to the one in the front. For gardens, treat separate beds as separate sample areas.




Can I treat my lawn soil and flower beds as one area?


We would not recommend it. Different types of plants have their own requirements in terms of nutrition, organic matter content, pH, etc. Therefore, treating them as the same area may yield inaccurate results.




How do I submit my soil sample to the lab?


"Your Nutrition Program" The instruction manual inside your kit will walk you through the process of submitting your soil sample.
A&L Residential Soil Report You fill out and print the submission form - each sample ID should remind you which area you are testing. Label sample bag(s) with the same sample ID(s) your wrote on the form. Place your sealed sample bag(s) and the completed submission form inside a box or other shipping container. If you would like to pay check, include one with your sample(s) and form - If not, you will receive an invoice by email. Label the box with the shipping address found at the top of your submission form.




How do I use my report to select fertilizer products?


"Your Nutrition Program" Once you receive your report you will notice that we have done the work for you! Simply head back to your retailer and pick up the products on your list. A&L Residential Soil Report The numbers provided in the “Soil Fertility Guidelines” section of your Soil Report will need to be converted to lbs/1000 ft2. For lime (expressed as tons per acre) multiply by 2000 and then divide by 43.56. For nutrients (expressed as pounds per acre) simply divide by 43.56. Please note, your "Soil Fertility Guidelines" are ANNUAL totals. Fertilizer will have a “Minimum Analysis” label somewhere on the bag. On this label you will find the percentage of each nutrient contained in the bag. Use these percentages to determine the most accurate product match. Example:

  1. Your Soil Report indicates the need for potassium (K) at a rate of 218 lbs/ac.
  2. Divide by 43.56 to convert to 5 lbs/1000 ft2. This is your annual total for potassium.
  3. If a 50 lb bag of fertilizer is made up of 20% potassium, you will multiply 50 by 0.20 to find the amount of potassium in the bag. In this case, the bag would contain 10 lbs of potassium.
  4. Remember, you only need 5 lbs for the growing season. Multiply the size of the bag (50 lbs) by the required amount of potassium (5 lbs/1000 ft2) and divide by the amount of potassium in the total bag (10 lbs). This will give you your annual application rate of 25 lbs/1000 ft2.
  5. Be aware, however, that getting enough of one nutrient may mean that you will go overboard on another. You will need to be strategic in your choice of product(s) in order to find the closest match. Too much of a good thing can be just as detrimental as too little.




Can I apply all of my fertilizer at once?


The simple answer is, no. "Your Nutrition Program" Refer to the Annual Total and Rate/Application on pages 3 and 4 of your report. Do not exceed the Rate/Application. A&L Residential Soil Report Each nutrient has its own rate that should not be exceeded in a single application. Refer to these general guidelines when creating an annual plan:

  • Nitrogen (N) - 0.5 to 1 lb per 1000ft2
  • Phosphate (P2O5) - 1 to 2 lbs per 1000ft2
  • Potash (K2O) - 0.5 to 2 lbs per 1000ft2





SOIL TEST KIT

Why can't I order a Soil Test Kit online?


In order to follow Your Nutrition Program, you will need to have access to the right products. The products on your Shopping List are exclusively available through the retailers who carry Soil Test Kits.




How many soil samples are included with the Soil Test Kit?


Each kit is good for ONE sample. If you would like to test a second area, please purchase an addition kit. In the future, Verified will introduce a "Basic" version of the Soil Test Kit.




Where can I find a Soil Test Kit?


Soil Test Kits are available exclusively at our participating retail locations. Click here for a map.





FERTILIZER PRODUCTS

Where can I find the N-P-K rating of the products on my Shopping List?


Descriptions and analysis for the Verified product lineup can be found here. The analysis is also listed on each bag of fertilizer.




Why is the N-P-K recommendation not included on "Your Nutrition Program"?


In most cases, the required ratio of nutrients cannot be satisfied by a single fertilizer product. To make things easier for you, we have taken that ratio and converted it into a combination of blended products (Activate, Fortify, etc).