Horticulture and Env. Sciences
Soil Testing & Analysis
How do I grow healthier roses? How do I restore my lawn? How do I increase my crop yield? Find the answers to your questions! Our $8 Routine Soil Test measures pH levels and pinpoints nutrient deficiencies. We can also test for bacteria, compounds, elements, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, pollutants, and more (cost varies by test). In order to grow healthy, productive plants, you have to start with healthy, fertile soil, so get yours tested now — your plants will thank you later.
You should submit a soil sample for testing at least three months before you plant in order to allow time for lab analysis, data interpretation, and any necessary corrective action (such as adding fertilizer or organic matter).
Before you get started, you will need the following items that haven't been in contact with fertilizer or lime (to avoid contamination):
Tool (trowel, spade, shovel, etc.)
- Gallon plastic storage bag
Step 1: Determine the area where your plant(s) grow or will grow and use a zigzag approach to map out eight to ten soil sample spots. For shrubs/trees, map out spots under the dripline (outermost circumference of the branches).
Step 2: Remove any grass or mulch and push the tool 2 to 4 inches (for lawns) or 6 inches (for gardens/plants) into the soil, collecting an approximately 1/4-inch thick by 2-inch wide sample and placing into the container. Repeat for the remaining seven to nine spots.
Step 3: Use the tool to mix the soil in the container. Remove 2 cups of the mixed soil and place into the bag. Seal the bag and label it with the date and sample type (lawn, garden, tree, etc.).
Step 4: Bring the dry mixed soil into our office and purchase your test. We will transfer the mixed soil into our approved packaging and mail it to the lab for you. You will receive a report with results and suggestions via email or mail within 10 to 14 days. If you need assistance understanding your report, just give us a call.
To view a video, click here.
Horticultural & Environmental Sciences
Soil can be tested for fertility and well water can be tested for safety and hardness. Visitors can bring samples of plants, weeds, or insects to the Cooperative Extension office for identification and sound advice to their questions.
Public and municipal water supplies are routinely tested and must meet standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and usually do not need to be tested by us. On the other hand, well water is often tested for bacterial contamination, mineral content, pesticide contamination, or the presence of certain chemicals. To read more about water testing, please click here.