Richland Soil and Water

Soil Test KitYou can either bring us a soil sample (see instructions below) or we can pull the sample for you.

Based on the test results, The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District will provide recommendations to you using local retail lawn and garden suppliers.

Soil Testing Assistance

Richland Soil and Water Conservation District can provide assistance with soil testing for gardeners, hobby farmers and lawn care.

We Offer the Basic or Standard Soil Test

Organic Matter, pH, available phosphorus and Exchangeable Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Cation Exchange Capactiy (CEC) and Percent Base Saturations. Plus, recommendations for Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash, Magnesium and Lime.

How it Works

  1. First determine what you are going to be growing:  vegetables, flowers, trees, lawn,etc...
  2. Take your own soil sample or have Richland Soil and Water Conservation District do it for you.
  3. The sample is sent to a lab for testing
  4. Soil analysis comes back to Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
  5. The District contacts you to arrange a time to discuss the soil analysis and helps guide you on fertilizer selection based on local retailers. Note: We cannot provide recommendations in regard to micronutrients.

Cost: Varies depending upon how many samples you want tested and whether or not you want Richland Soil and Water Conservation District to take the sample. A general rule of thumb for one basic or standard soil test is approximately $50.00 and includes the test cost, mailing and administrative costs.

If You Choose to Take Your Own Soil Sample, Here’s How

  1. Samples can be taken with a variety of tools, but we prefer a shovel. Make sure it isn’t rusty or galvanized, because that could skew your results
  2. Scrape any debris and thatch, including mulch, from the area you are sampling before you dig
  3. Dig out pieces of soil about 6 to 8 inches deep. If sampling your lawn, dig 3 to 4 inches deep.
  4. Randomly repeat in different parts of the area you want tested (approximately 10 -15 samples), so that the combined sample is a good representation of the entire area
  5. Put the samples in a bucket and use a trowel or smaller shovel to completely mix the sample.
  6. Fill a quart-size plastic sandwich bag with the sample and label the bag with your name and the sample description.
  7. The soil can be wet or dry when you take a sample, but you will get better results with dry soil since it can be mixed easier. If you take it wet, allow it to dry and then mix. Break up all clumps before mixing.
  8. Bring the soil sample to Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
  9. Provide us with your contact information, how the soil was used previously, how you want to use the soil and a sample description.