Soil Sampling

By: Reese Gray

What is soil sampling and why should a homeowner perform soil testing?

It determine the need for line, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the the soil. It will also tell the homeowner of any other nutrient deficiencies when they do soil testing.
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What information does soil test give you?

Doing a soil test will show if you need to add more line, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil so anything that is planted will grow better.

How do I correctly perform a soil test in my yard?

  • Get soil sample information sheets and cartoons from your local extension agency.
  • Clean tools.
  • Take complete sample from each uniform area.
  • Take 10-15 small cores or slices from the large uniform area.
  • Take core of slices about 4" deep for lawns and about 6" deep for fields.
  • Mix the cores or slices together in a clean bucket and take a sample of about one pint to represent the area sampled.
  • Complete the sample information sheet and carton information.
  • Draw a map and keep a record of where you sampled and sample numbers.
  • Include the information sheet with carton of soil "sample" and mail or take to appropriate testing laboratory.
  • Avoid unusual areas unless you want to get a sample of the unusual area only so that it can be treated.
  • Place soil samples in a box and send the box and information to Agronomic Division Soil Test Lab in Raleigh for a fee soil test.

What do I do with unusual spots in my yard?

You want to avoid unusual areas in your yard unless you plan is to test only the unusual areas and treat them.
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Where do send a test for analyzing?

When you have it all boxed up you send it and all the information to Agronomic Division Soil Test Lab in Raleigh.

How much does it cost?

If you live in NC and send it to Agronomic Division Soil Test Lab in Raleigh it is free to get a soil test.
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How long will it take to get results back?

The samples should be taken early enough to allow adequate time to implement the lab recommends in the time to be planted.