How to Take a Soil Sample
General Sample Taking Information
Specific directions for collecting a sample can be found on individual forms. In general samples should be collected as follows:
- The soil sample should be representative of the area for which you want recommendations.
- Avoid areas that have an obvious difference in soil type, drainage, or plant growth.
- Take samples from 6-8 spots in each garden or lawn area you want tested. Mix these 6-8 spots together to create a representative sample of the area.
- Each sample should be taken from a depth of 6" for gardens, 6"- 8" for trees and shrubs, and 3-4" for lawns.
- The sample can be taken with a spade, shovel, trowel, soil probe or auger.
- Air dry, remove stones and other debris.
- Submit ONLY 1 cup of dry soil in a clean zip-lock bag, labeled with a name unique to that sample. (e.g., Front lawn, Vegetable garden.)
- Make sure you include the sample name(s) and the crop to be grown on the form.
- Mail or drop off the soil, the completed form and a check payable to UNHCE.
If requesting texture class, send 2 cups of soil.
If using the Compost form, send 4- 6 cups.