I'm a new gardener interested in getting my soil tested. Does anyone have a recommendation for a lab?

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    Worth noting, while you find the testing, what your neighbors grow. Roses, blueberries, and blue hydrangeas reveal acid soil. Cactus and perennial tulips reveal quick-draining soil. (Tuips, lily, lettuce, and hosta - no deer or rabbits.) Feb 29 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


First of all, kudos for testing your soil!

In the US, all (most?) states have an Extension service, usually connected to a major state university. Many or most of these extensions offer soil testing services. In Wisconsin, we have to pay a small fee for each test. I recommend seeing if your state's Extension offers this service before trying to use an independent lab - the Extension will probably be less expensive and may provide results quicker.

If you'd like further reading on soil additives, I recommend that you visit this science-based site. Scroll down until you get to the soil amendments section for a number of short white-papers that discuss various soil additives. There a lots of other papers there that contain great info, especially for new gardeners. There is also a link to The Garden Professors' Blog, which has searchable content that you may find useful.


It depends on what you plan to do in the soil.

For food growing purposes; agricultural extension services will provide you with the necessary facilities to test for available nutrients and plan your season.

For lawn and perennial ornamentals, (minimal harvesting and nutrient removal compared to above), testing is probably not necessary past a soil texture and friability visual assessment.

And the jar-test is the best and easiest way to do a first handshake with a new soil https://growitbuildit.com/mason-jar-soil-test-clay-sand-silt/

I still use this every season as a small-scale organic farmer.

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