Getting Your Soil Tested (2 Videos)

Getting Your Soil Tested and analyzed at a local lab is easily done in two steps.

As  explained in a previous post Testing Your Soil, there are two methods used when getting your soil tested.

Method 1 is to test your soil yourself by using a special kit found at your local nursery. You will know the results right away.

Method 2 is getting your soil tested by sending a sample of your soil to a local university extension office or department of agriculture.  Either way you must gather your sample in such a way that it is representative of your total garden soil.

Please note: Getting your soil tested is not always free in that sometimes you might be asked to pay a small fee. Back in the 80′s-90′s, I paid $5.00 to get my soil analyzed in the lab at the department of Agriculture, Ottawa, Ontario. Today it’s probably anywhere from $10.00 to $15.00; however, it’s well worth the money to know what your soil needs in order to grow great vegetables.

Also I had to first write to the department of Agriculture to ask for a “kit” such as the one shown in the video, gather my soil sample, send it back to Ottawa, and wait 2 to 3 weeks for the results.

If you live far from a university where they do this or far from an extension of the Department of Agriculture, you will need to do this in phases too.

Process and benefits of getting your soil tested in a lab

In the following two videos, Rob Berghage, Penn State Associate Professor of Horticulture, Penn State University, explains the process and benefits of getting your soil tested in a lab.

The first one will show you how to gather your soil sample, and the second will show you what happens behind the scene when your soil is being tested.

Video 1: Soil Test Part 1 — Gathering your soil sample

Video 2: Soil Test Part 2 — Behind the scenes and how you benefit from this analysis.

If you want to get your soil tested, but you don’t know where your sample should be sent, contact your nearest garden club. If they don’t know the answer, they will find out for you.

As you can see, getting your soil tested is a sure way to find out exactly what must be added to your soil  in order to get maximum growth results.


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