How to Improve Your Soil After a Soil Test


Testing your soil will provide you with the road map you need to chart your course toward soil improvement. After you have received the test results, your next course of action will be to choose whether or not using only organic soil amendments matters to you. If you are feeling unsure even after receiving the test results, you can contact your county's extension office to speak to a master gardener who is intimately familiar with soil conditions in your area.

Step 1

Apply compost. Whether you are gardening or simply reviving a tired lawn, compost can help any type of soil no matter what its test results are.

Step 2

Dig the compost in deep with a shovel if you are planting a garden. You may also want to apply more than if you were applying a topical layer to a lawn.

Step 3

Apply agricultural lime or sulfur according to package or master gardener instructions. Which to apply will depend on your soil test results and what you intend to grow. Sulfur makes your soil more acidic, while lime makes it more basic.

Step 4

Dig in some peat, sand, and/or gypsum to aid in your soil's composition. Most plants prefer a rich loam-type soil. Depending on whether your soil is clay, sand, or somewhere in between, amending with these two things can improve its structure significantly.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Lime
  • Sulfur
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Gypsum


  • Fine Gardening: Soil pH
  • Fine Gardening: Soil Amendments
  • McGee & Stuckey's The Bountiful Container; Rose Marie Nichols McGee & Maggie Stuckey; 2002
Keywords: improving your soil, soil amendments, fixing soil

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.