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How To Get A Soil Sample For Testing

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The results of a soil test can be no better than the representative sample of soil that is submitted for testing.  Follow these simple steps to get the most from your soil test:
  • Using a coring device, pipe, auger, trowel, spade, knife or other tool, collect slender cores, columns or slices of soil 6 to 8 inches deep and of a uniform diameter or thickness. (Lawn samples can be about three inches deep).  
  • Take ten or more columns or slices, at random, from the area to be tested.  Combine, crumble and blend the columns or cores thoroughly in a clean container.  Remove any stones, grass, roots, or thatch.
  • For most meaningful results, do not mix lawn and garden soils into one sample.  Separate tests are better as plants in each area may have different nutrient needs. You may even want to take separate tests for the front and back yard or shady and sunny areas.
  • Take one pint of this mixture in a small clean container to your local extension office.  Be prepared with information about the size of your lawn or garden, the type of grass you have, and whether you are starting a new lawn or maintaining an established lawn.




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