Soil testing is the best way to adjust liming and fertilization practices.
Soil testing services are available to every Kentucky citizen through the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Your report for a routine soil test will show the amount of Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, pH and buffer pH.
If you would like to drop off a soil sample for testing, here are a few things to remember:
1. Soil samples must be dry. No wet samples will be accepted. Once your sample has been collected, spread it out on newspaper/cardboard to air dry before bagging. DO NOT put your sample in the oven/microwave to speed drying time. This will drastically affect your sample results.
2. Collect at least 10 soil cores for small areas and up to 30 soil cores for larger fields. Take soil cores to depth of the tillage operation (usually 6 to 8 inches) for tilled areas. Take soil cores to a depth of 3 to 4 inches for pastures, lawns, etc. Take the soil cores randomly throughout the sampling area and place them in a bucket. Mix well, bag and label before bringing to the Extension Office. DO NOT sample compost areas, under the drip-line of trees, close to driveways or streets.
3. We need a small (sandwich size) plastic zip-type bag full of dirt to complete a soil sample test (approximately two cups).
Click on the links below for more information on collecting soil samples:
Feel free to complete the required form(s) below and bring them with your sample(s) to the Extension Office. These forms contain all of the important information required to provide accurate lime and fertilizer recommendations. Once we receive your sample(s), they will be sent to the UK Soil Testing Laboratory. Results and recommendations will be sent to you, typically within 10 to 14 business days, after submission.