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Geneva chemists test soil samples for gardeners

BEAVER FALLS, Pa.— Geneva College’s Chemistry Society will accept lawn and garden soil samples for testing beginning Wednesday, March 22 through Wednesday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding Sunday). Soil samples will be collected in the Science & Engineering Building in room 210.

     Dr. Melinda Stephens, associate professor of chemistry, recommends using a clean trowel to dig a plug of soil that goes from the surface to about six inches in depth. Taking several plugs and mixing them together can produce a more representative sample for larger areas.

     Stephens suggests that, “It is best if soil can be obtained when it is fairly dry.” Soil samples can be left to dry indoors on newspapers for at least 24 hours before they are mixed thoroughly and placed into a plastic bag. The plastic bag should be labeled with a name, address and phone number. If a plot has a problem area, it is advisable to obtain a separate sample from that area.

     Soil will be tested for (pH), potassium, and phosphorous content to measure the acidity and nutrients of the soil. Results of submitted samples will be mailed in late April

     The Geneva Chemistry Society requests a donation of $2 per sample to defray the costs of analysis. For additional information, contact Dr. Melinda Stephens at 724-847-5235 or Dr. Kerry McMahon at 724-847-6722.

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