A soil test is a chemical analysis that estimates a soil’s ability to supply nutrients. Results from a soil test allow you to monitor chemical conditions, tap existing nutrient supplies, identify nutrient deficiencies and apply optimum fertilizer amounts. Based on results from your soil sample, we will provide you with the following:

1) The type of fertilizer that is best for your soil and the crop you are growing.

2) How much fertilizer should be applied for each application.

3) The time of year each application should be made.

4) Whether your soil pH is in the proper range.

For your soil test to be accurate as possible, collect the soil sample before fertilizer is applied and use the following steps to collect the sample.

• The sample should be representative of the area as a whole, whether that is a lawn, garden, or pasture.

• Scrape plant debris from the soil surface before sampling.

• Samples should be taken from a 4-6-inch depth.

• Use a clean bucket and a soil probe to collect at least 10 cores from areas scattered throughout the area to be tested.

• Mix the soil thoroughly in the bucket and fill a pint-size container with the mixture.

• Bring the sample to Extension Office to be sent for testing.

The Extension Office will send the sample to the OSU Soil, Water, Forage Lab for testing. The cost of the samples is $10 per sample, and results will be completed within two-three weeks. Soil testing is more environmentally and economically friendly than guessing which fertilizer to use.