Free Soil Testing @ SRA Booth for Earth Day


The Sassafras River Association is offering a free workshop for homeowners on Taking the First Step to a Healthier Lawn. It will be held during the Chestertown Earth Day Festival, April 21, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. at Fountain Park.

The purpose of the workshop is to demystify the traditional thinking that Spring is the appropriate time to fertilize and raise awareness of the dangers of excessive runoff of fertilizer into the Sassafras River and other waterways. Lawn fertilizer runoff contributes to the nutrient pollution that causes dead zones in our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. By learning how to properly treat soil and support healthy plants, residents and homeowners will be contributing to the overall health of the River and the watershed area.

Participants are asked to pick up a free kit to test the health of their soil; kits can be picked up from the Sassafras River Association office at 7479 Augustine Herman Highway, Georgetown, MD, until April 7 and must be returned by April 8. The soil is then sent to be analyzed by Karen Gartley, Program Director of University of Delaware Soil Testing Program. Each participant will receive their own Report Card at the workshop with recommendations to support a healthy lawn. Custom lawn advice will also be given, teaching people how to improve soil and plant health, without over-applying fertilizers that may be detrimental to the health of the River.

Pam Duke, Sassafras River Association Executive Director, shares, “A common misconception about Spring is that it is the ideal time to fertilize and prep for a greener lawn. Fall is actually the best time to fertilize. This workshop gives watershed residents and homeowners a base knowledge about their own lawn and what they can do to improve it as well as contribute to the health of the Sassafras River.”

The Sassafras River Association is dedicated to promoting good water quality, a balance among recreation, wildlife, and economic activity, and an educated community that takes action to restore and maintain the health of the watershed.


Sign up now for the workshop to receive:

• Soil Test Kit – Get a free kit to test the health of your soil.
Pick up your Soil Test Kit at the SRA office between March 20-April 6, test your soil and return the sample to SRA by April 9. Our office is located at 7479 Augustine Herman Highway, Georgetown, MD 21930.

• Soil Report Card – See the results of your test—and what your soil needs to support a healthy lawn. Join us at the Earth Day Festival to receive the results from your soil test.

• Custom Lawn Advice – Learn how to improve your soil and plant health without hurting the River. Talk with the Program Director of the University of Delaware Soil Testing Program and ask any questions you have about your soil!

To register for the workshop, contact Sassafras River Association at 410-275-1400 or send an e-mail to For more information, visit



About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

  1. Nancy Robson says:

    SRA’s workshop is worthwhile even if you don’t manage to pick up a soil test kit from them.
    You can also get a soil test done by UMass extension. There is a choice of soil tests (and prices). The cheapest, $10, which is usually plenty of useful info for home gardeners and homeowners who are looking to care for their turf, includes pH, Buffer pH, Extractable Nutrients (P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B), Extractable Aluminum, Cation Exchange Capacity, Percent Base Saturation. Also Included, Extractable (and Estimated Total) Lead.

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