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University of Minnesota Extension

Managing soil and nutrients

How to manage soil and nutrients in yards and gardens

The nutrients in your soil are what feed your plants and can determine whether you have a healthy lawn, flourishing trees or a bumper crop of zucchini.

Before starting any yard or garden project, we recommend having your soil tested by the University of Minnesota Soil Testing Lab. They will let you know if your soil needs added nutrients depending on what you want to plant.  We also have a step-by-step video that shows how to test your soil.

Caring for your soil

Healthy soil is the foundation of thriving gardens, lawns, and landscapes. Read more about what makes a soil healthy on the page Living soil, healthy garden.

There are various practices you can use to improve the health of your soil:

Composting at home (video: 06:09)

Compostaje en casa (video: 09:55)

Cover crops for gardeners (video: 05:38)

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