Native enterprise offering testing kits to research soil after massive freeze
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – After the major freeze, many people have to grow new crops.
Places like Gill’s Landscape Nursery give soil sample bags, tests that analyze soil nutrients. Gil’s Landscape Nursery said once customers bring their soil back, it will be taken by the Agricultural Extension Service and sent to Texas A&M in College Station for them to process and analyze it. The customer then receives his results back by post.
Gill’s Nursery Landscaping said the city of Corpus Christi will pay for the free test kits for the first 200 people. The soil is examined for certain nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen and whether there are too many nutrients, which Gill says can be toxic. However, the test does not analyze which type of soil is best for different plants such as a cactus or a rose.
“The soil test says nothing about the preference of the various plants. You have to find out this part for yourself. But it tells you what your starting point is and gives you a good idea of what you might need to add, ”said James Gill, the kindergarten owner.
Regular customers like Joanne Salge said their plants were also affected by the big frost. She uses the test to analyze the pH of the soil so she knows what materials to use.
“In addition to bringing in fertilizers and other nutrients … it’s usually a good idea to modify the soil by adding organic matter,” Salge said.
Gil’s recommends organic fertilizer as it feeds not only plants but other beneficial organisms as well. Organisms like earthworms that clients like Estela Boyes especially use after traveling during the great frost and returning to a dead garden.
“I work my soil … I make earthworm tea … earthworm shell tea … to spread out there and moisturize it and take in some nutrients …” said Boyes.
Gill made videos to help people understand how to prune plants and to learn which plants to leave alone after the big freeze.