WHITESTOWN — Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County offers in-house soil pH testing for home gardens and lawns at a cost of $2 per sample.
Gardeners should test their soil at least every three years. Test more often if you are experiencing a problem area or have applied lots of nutrients to the soil. Vegetables, flowers, herbs and turf grasses draw nutrients out of the soil as they grow. Depending on your soil sample tests results, you may need to make amendments to the soil.
To obtain a representative soil sample for pH testing or for a more complete soil analysis through the Agro-One Soil Lab, dig six cores of soil, approximately 1-inch-by-1-inch-by-6 inches deep for lawns and 8 inches deep for garden areas. Place in a bucket and mix. Make sure it is dry. Transfer the mixture to sandwich size baggies, a minimum of 1 pint of dry soil is all that’s needed to complete the analysis.
Complete soil nutrient analysis can be done through Agro- One Soil Laboratory/Dairy One located in Ithaca. Fees for home garden and home lawn are $13 plus postage. Results are usually received within a two-week period.
The lab nutrient soil analysis includes results for soil pH, organic matter level, nutrient levels including macro and micro nutrients: phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, aluminum and magnesium. The results will also include recommendations based on the type of crop or plants you are growing.
Instructions and soil sample forms before can be found online at www.dairyone.com or at the extension office. Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County is located at the Oneida County Farm & Home Center, 121 Second St. The office phone is 315-736-3394.