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Northwest Missouri Extension News You Can Use

This monthly newsletter provides practical advice on a variety of subjects and reports on extension activities throughout the region. Northwest Missouri Extension News You Can Use

Don't guess. Soil tests save time and money.

Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services. 

Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.

"We frequently get questions from customers like, "I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?" Nathan said. 

"Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements," she said. "They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or underapplication, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment."

Soil testing can be done through the extension office where you can ask to check out the soil probe to use to obtain your soil sample and also pick up a soil sample box to put your soil in. The cost is $16 for one sample, $14 each for two, three, or four samples, and $13 each for five or more samples. Soil testing publications

Trees add value to your landscape

Trees can provide your home with shade, wind protection and visual appeal. They can reduce energy costs, provide recreation for children and habitat for wildlife.

Newly planted trees need special attention, and not all trees are suitable for all conditions. MU Extension’s horticulture experts have developed a series of publications to help you choose the right tree and get it established.

MU Extension publication G6800, Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

MU Extension publication G6805, Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees

MU Extension publication G6810, Selecting Landscape Plants: Uncommon Trees for Specimen Plantings

MU Extension publication G6815, Selecting Landscape Plants: Needled Evergreens

MU Extension publication G6820, Selecting Landscape Plants: Broad-leaved Evergreens

MU Extension publication G6850, How to Plant a Tree

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