When preparing a garden or yard, a good place to start is getting the soil tested. The results will provide information on the conditions of the soil along with suggestions on any necessary nutrient amendments needed. Soil testing is an excellent way to measure the fertility and health of the dirt, and offers precise ways to maintain plant health and productivity. Soil fertility and composition will fluctuate throughout the growing season and from year to year, with nutrient levels and structure varying due to additives, leaching, and plant growth. Some plants grow well within a broad range of pH levels, while some require more specific conditions. A soil test is the best way to determine whether the soil is acidic, alkaline or neutral. A soil test can also measure levels of lead and other toxic metals, which is especially important if choosing to grow acidic fruits or vegetables.