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Soil Testing and Soil pH Cont.

Taking a Soil Sample

The accuracy of the soil test is in direct correlation to how the sample is taken. Fall is a good time to     take samples since it may take some time for amendments added to the soil to work.
  1. Obtain soil sample bags from your local county or co-operative extension service.
  2. For each different use sample, select 12 or more sites and prepare for sampling by digging a hole 6 to 8 inches deep and about 6 inches in diameter.
  3. .Do not use the soil that came out of the hole, instead use a trowel to scrape the side of the hole to get a uniform sample from the full depth of the hole.
  4. Place the soil scraped from each hole into a large bucket.
  5. When all holes have been dug and sampled for one use, throughly mix that soil in the bucket.
  6. Label the bag and provide the required information based on your expected use.
  7. Fill the soil sample bag with the mixed soil.
  8. If doing several samples, empty bucket of all soil and repeat steps 2 – 7.
  9. Once all desired samples are completed, take the bags to your extension service.
  10. An individual report for each sample will be sent to your provided address. 
Depending on the time of year, it may take several weeks for your local county or co-operative extension service to analyze the sample(s) and return the results.  If you have any trouble reading and understanding the test results, do not hesitate contacting your extension service, they will be happy to help.

If you utilize a national lawn maintenance service, they may offer, for a fee, to perform the sampling for you and submit it to your local county or co-operative extension service.  You will then receive the report(s) and can make the suggested corrections to your soil yourself or request the service to do it.

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