I am in Seattle. Just had 2 redwoods and 2 cypresses removed from my yard and will replace them with friut trees. I need a soil analysis. Any hints?

  soil analysis Rick_Vid I am in Seattle. Jus...
Go to your County Extension Agent (in the phone book's 'blue pages' for King County if you're in Seattle proper). You can get a kit from them that will tell you how to collect a soil sample. You return the soil sample to the extention agent, tell them you plan to grow fruit trees where the sample was collected, and (for a fee) they'll analyze it and make recommendations as to what amendments you should add to optimize the soil for your purposes. King County is pretty big (I used to live in Seattle myself), but you may be able to do it all over the phone/by mail, rather than driving into downtown or wherever the Extension Office is physically located.
The great thing about gardening is that you always get a chance to start over!

  Re: soil analysis IntrepidMeredith Go to your County Ex...
Your local office of the Washington State University USDA cooperative Extension Service can be found at http://ext.wsu.edu/locations/
In addition to that base nutrient and soil pH test take a good close look at your soil with these simple tests to see what your soil is;
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer you soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy
West Central Michigan along the lake shore.
soil analysis

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