Soil Sampling

By: Lindsay Pruett, Megan Mclawhorn & Briley Forbes

What is soil testing?

Soil testing is when someone sends in a soil sample to determine the need for lime, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Other nutrient deficiencies may also be determined. They can determine load-bearing or drainage capabilities, contamination by chemicals or insects or disease present.
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Why should a homeowner perform soil testing?

To determine the need for lime, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium

What information does a soil test give you?

It determines what you need to put in your soil

Procedures to perform a soil test

  • Get soil sample info sheets & cartons from an extension agency.
  • Clean tools & containers
  • Take 1 composite sample from each uniform area.
  • Take 10-15 small cores/slices from the large uniform area.
  • Take core of slices about 4" deep for lawns & about 6" deep for fields.
  • Mix cores /slices together in a clean bucket & take a sample of about one pint to represent the area sampled.
  • Complete sample info sheet and carton info.
  • Draw a map and keep record of where you sampled & sampled numbers.
  • Include info sheet with carton on soil and mail or take to appropriate testing lab.
  • Avoid unusual areas unless you want to get a sample of the unusual area only so it can be treated.
  • Place soil sample in a box and send the box and info to agronomist division test lab
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What should you do with unusual spots in your yard?

You should avoid unusual areas unless you want to get a sample of the unusual area only so that it can be treated.
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Where should you send a test for analyzing?

Send it to the Agronomic Division Soil Test Lab in Raleigh

Cost

FREE!

How long will it take?

It should be taken early enough to allow adequate time to implement the lab recommendations in time for the crop to be planted.