Soil Sample Testing


Follow these guidelines to collect your soil samples. You can use a trowel or shovel to collect soil from your lawn or garden, but a soil probe should be used for best results. The extension office has several soil probes available for soil collection that can be borrowed by Spencer County residents at no cost.


Every sample is FREE, we'll send the soil sample to the Soil Testing Laboratories where the lab technicians will test the soil pH level. Other soil nutrients tested include zinc, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Nitrogen is not included due to the rapidly changing nature of the nutrient.


Extension has a saying - a soil test is best. Plant health can be used to infer soil quality, but you cannot know the true levels of soil nutrients without a soil test. Do a soil test before you apply fertilizer! Often homeowners will waste money on applying fertilizer that their lawns and gardens don't need and cannot use.


Although you can submit soil for testing at any time, the best time of year to conduct a soil test is in the fall. If you test your soil in the fall, then you have time to make any necessary amendments before planting in the spring.


The soil test results will be mailed directly to you. It usually takes about two weeks to receive results. For help interpreting soil testing results, feel free to contact Agriculture Agent Bryce Roberts at the extension office.