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Garth Ruffner Landscape Architect


Testing Prior to Planting:


Soil testing is performed on nearly every project prepared by this office.  Usually, the samples are collected before new work has occurred and therefore they may not reflect actual conditions at the time of planting.  For this reason, the drawings (Specification Section 02920, Part 3.1) often call for a new soil test to be performed by the landscape contractor after rough grading or prior to importing planting soil.


Soil tests on the drawings are provided to meet agency requirements and are not acceptable as a substitute for mandatory pre-planting testing.


Sunland Analytical Labs LTP3 landscape soil testing meets the requirements of the Specifications. An order form is provided here.

Soil testing is critical prior to plant installation. Maintenance soil testing should occur at least once every year after a project is completed.

Sunland Analytical Lab’s LTP3 landscape soil testing is adequate for most situations, although LTP4 may be a better choice if no testing has occurred in the past 2 years.  An order form is provided here and sampling instructions follow:



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Tinker Road Warehouse Before Renovation

Planting Design at Folsom Corporate Center

Folsom Corporate Center

Maintenance Testing:


Nearly every landscape renovation project this office has undertaken begins with a soil test.  Invariably, the results indicate a massive deficit of nitrogen, which accounts for the yellow foliage and stunted growth that is typical of minimally maintained plantings.


Annual soil testing, possibly by an individual who is not an employee of the landscape maintenance company, may be the most important factor in restoring older plants to a healthy appearance.

Elk Grove City Offices at Laguna East Business Park

Laguna East Business Park

Landscape Architecture at River's Side, West Sacramento

River’s Side

Landscape Soil Testing

Tinker Road Warehouse, 1 Year After Renovation