Give your garden what it needs

Often garden enthusiasts blindly fertilize their veggies and ornamentals because ... well isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?
A growing number of gardeners are becoming concerned about healthy gardens and landscapes. Many are interested in raising food organically or employing Integrated Pest Management principles, but aren’t sure where to start.
This is where the FoReST Lab comes in. The laboratory provides nutrient analysis and fertilizer recommendations based specifically on your soil and on the crop you are trying to grow. So if you want a lush green lawn, or tasty plump tomatoes, the lab can provide you tailored fertilizer recommendations.
With the goal of providing these services to people in Northwestern Ontario, the FoReST Lab has hired Joel Symonds, (HBScF ’03, MScF Candidate ’10) as the Lab’s Manager and Analyst with funds coming from Industry Canada’s Community Adjustment Fund (CAF). Joel comes to the CAF funded position with over 5 years of laboratory experience as well as field experience in Northwestern Ontario. In Joel’s spare time, he volunteers in the community at Grassroots Church as a musician, and along with his wife Jesse, is the parent of their three children.
Joel’s excited to help people make environmentally informed decisions. “Why would you apply a fertilizer to your garden when it doesn’t really need it?” Joel asks. He sees the laboratory having a key role in the “greening” of our home gardens and landscapes in the city and region.
When plants are properly fertilized, they will likely be healthier, grow more vigorously and better able to defend themselves from insects and diseases. Healthier plants mean less insect outbreaks and reduced need for pesticides. More information on soil testing services.
In addition to providing soils nutrient testing, the lab has also recently started providing biofuels testing to ensure fuel levels produce the required energy while minimizing release of volatiles and other contaminants into the environment. Ongoing cooperation between Lakehead University’s Wood Science lab (LUWSTF) and the Forest Resources and Soil Testing lab (FoReST) has enabled some successful preliminary work and exploration in the area pellet testing and chemical analysis.
If you have any questions, Joel would love to chat. Feel free to email Joel at or telephone at 807-343-8639.
All proceeds from LUCAS laboratories are used for the non-profit activities of research and teaching at Lakehead University.

LUCAS Lakehead University