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IPM for the Outdoor Classroom
"A Guide to Technical Information for use in Developing an Outdoor Classroom"

Getting Started

This web page provides you with information sources that will help get your outdoor project started right. Whether you are limited to a designated area or you have several areas to choose from, the following information will help you select the site you wish to use or to make the best use of the site you have.

Soil Testing

Why soil test? Because plants have nutrient requirements and an optimum pH. Plants that are stressed or weak due to a lack of nutrients or low or high soil pH are more susceptible to disease and can not readily tolerate insect damage. Soil testing will help you determine if the site you have selected is suitable for the plants you wish to grow. Test results will tell you how much or if any fertilizer needs to be added to the soil and if lime should be added to adjust the pH of the soil.

For details on soil testing view the following sites:

Soil Testing: What It Is and What It Does
Taking Soil Test Samples
Soil Sampling For Horticultural Crops
Sample Form for Home Garden, Home Lawn & Special Turf Soil
Sample of Soil Test Report


Your local county extension office can provide the form, instructions, and a sample box for taking a soil sample. Many offices have soil probes that can be borrowed to use in taking samples. There is a small fee for processing the sample. Your soil sample will be mailed to the University of Kentucky Soil Testing Laboratory. Once the sample has been analyzed, a report will be returned to your local county extension office. Your local county extension agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources or county extension agent for Horticulture can help you interpret the results of your sample. Start your outdoor classroom out right by use IPM techniques such as soil testing.

Site and Plant Selection

For information on plant and site selection, plant installation, plant maintenance and tools for pest control visit -

The UK Home Landscape IPM Program.

The University of Kentucky Department of Horticulture also provides information on the following:

Flowers-Home Horticulture

Fruit-Home Horticulture

Vegetable Information

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Original document: 10 May 2003
Last updated: 10 May 2003

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