Understanding Soils

Soil and Plant Nutrition: A Gardener’s Perspective (webpage)
Dr. Lois Berg Stack, Extension Professor, University of Maine

Soil Basics (webpage)
From University of Maryland Extension

Soil Texture (PDF)
From Cornell University Extension

Soil Micronutrients (PDF)
Presentation slides by Dr. Jarrod Miller of University of Maryland Extension

Soil Biology Primer (webpage)
On the left side of the page are links to each chapter in the primer. From the Resources Conservation Service of the USDA

Soil Evaluation and Tests

Soil testing can boost garden yield and quality, and improve your lawn and landscape. If you have not had your soil tested, now is a great time to do that. Each year, many homeowners fertilize their lawn, garden and landscape without a soil test. How do you know you are applying the right fertilizer at the correct amount? You might waste quite a bit of money on unneccessary fertilizer or wrong fertilizer. Worse yet, the excessive fertilizer might end up in our drinking water.

Find out more about getting a soil test through Delaware county extension office.

Soil Testing for Ohio Lawns, Landscapes, Fruit Crops, and Vegetable Gardens (webpage)
Ohio State University Extension Ohioline Fact Sheet HYG-1132

How to Understand a Soil Test (recorded webinar)
Paul Snyder, Secrest Arboretum, CFAES Wooster Campus

Ohio Soil Health Card (webpage)
Ohio State University Extension Ohioline Fact Sheet SAG-1

Check Your Soil Health

Soil Quality Information (webpage)
From Penn State Extension

Soil Health Concepts (PDF)
From Cornell Unversity Extension

Weeds Are an Indicator of a Soil’s Health (webpage)
From Michigan State University Extension

Contamination of Urban Soils (PDF)
Presentation to Advanced Master Gardner class on soils by Kaitlyn Benson, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil and Water Conservation

Preparation and Amendment

Improving Lawn and Landscape Soils (webpage)
From University of Missouri Extension

Choosing a Soil Amendment Website PDF
From Colorado State University Extension

Soil Preparation and Fertilizers for the Home Flower and Vegetable Garden (PDF)
From Cornell Unversity Extension

From Michigan State University Extension

Effectiveness of Gypsum in the North-central Region of the U.S. (PDF)
From North Dakota State University Extension


From Urban Worm Company

Resources about composting (webpage)
From Cornell Waste Management

Soils and Region

CROP-CASMA (Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics)
Geospatial Web Service for U.S. Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Data Analysis

Glacial Map of Ohio (PDF)

USDA Web Soil Survey
Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

Soil Explorer (webpage)
Interactive map of soils in world "Ohio" in drop down menu on right. From USGS, Purdue University, and USDA.


Living Soil Film (Video)
From the Soil Health Institute

Surviving the Dust Bowl (Video)
Surviving the Dust Bowl is the remarkable story of the determined people who clung to their homes and way of life, enduring drought, dust, disease — even death — for nearly a decade. From American Experience on PBS.