I imagine many special recipes were pulled out and executed for this week’s festivities. My own Mom had quite a collection of recipes from back in the day when she loved to cook and bake. Much like chemistry is important when baking a cake, soil chemistry is important when optimizing your garden. Unlike time-tested recipes that consistently provide success, the garden needs a check-up now and then before repeating the same inputs year after year.

Performing a basic soil test is a great way to check in on your garden in the fall. Several clients have been submitting samples and getting results that will change their usual springtime fertilizer applications. Instead of blindly applying the same fertilizer formulation they use annually, these homeowners now have specific recommendations based on the soil conditions at their garden site. Now that is a recipe for success based on science!

Stephanie Turner is the Greenwood County horticulture agent for Clemson Cooperative Extension.