close-up photo of soil after tilling

Knowing the pH and nutrient content of your soil is important to successful growing.

How To Take A Soil Sample

SOIL TESTING
CCE of Jefferson County

  • pH Testing - There is no charge for this test for up to 3 samples. Additional sample testing is $2 per sample. Just drop off a soil sample at our reception desk and we will call you with the results. A pH test measures the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. In Jefferson County, most soil pH levels range from 6.5 to 7.4. Most plants grow best at a pH level of 6.5 to 7.0. Depending on what crop you are growing, if your pH levels are normal and you are not having problems, no further testing is necessary.
  • Complete Soil Analysis
    • Home and Garden (trees, shrubs, home vegetable, fruit and flower gardens) - $15. Contact Sue Gwise. This test should be done if soil pH levels are out of the normal ranges, or if you have been having problems with your gardens.
    • Turf - $15.Contact Sue Gwise to set up an appointment to fill out the lab sheet.
    • Commercial Fruit and Vegetables - $15. Contact Mike Nuckols to set up an appointment to fill out the lab sheet.
    • Agronomic Samples - $18. Contact Mike Hunter

      You will receive a soil analysis report via regular mail or email (your choice) in about 2 weeks. Specific recommendations will be listed on the report based on your soil and the crop you are growing.

  • How to take a soil sample - Using a hand spade and a small container, take 5 to 6 random samples from the planting area. Dig down to a depth of about 8 inches. Mix all of the samples together and bring in two cups of the mixture. If the sample is wet, it should be left out to dry overnight. Place the sample in a zip-lock bag, or a glass or plastic container. Do not use metal containers. For agronomic sampling contact Mike Hunter for procedures. 
  • Soil samples are accepted at the CCE Jefferson reception desk from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
  • Please call ahead for commercial crop soil analysis testing.

Contact

Sue Gwise
Consumer Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator
Sjg42@cornell.edu
315-788-8450 ext. 243

Last updated March 3, 2020