Soil health to grow fresh, local food
Plant growth and vigor are often dependent on soil pH — the measurement of how acidic or alkaline the soil is. A soil test determines whether your soil is acidic, neutral or alkaline. A soil test also indicates which elements are missing from your soil and how much to add to remedy the problem. The soil test kits purchased at a garden store usually do not yield accurate results for a variety of reasons. The best way to determine soil health is to get a laboratory soil test.
You can test your soil at any time during the year, but testing at approximately the same time every year will provide the most accurate results. Late fall/early winter when your soil is in a depleted nutrient condition is the ideal time for most crops. This will allow time for you to boost the necessary nutrients before spring planting.
For each soil test, collect about a quart size bag of soil. Each sample should consist of sub-samples taken from various locations within the sampling area. We recommend marking a large “W” shape in the sampling area, and pulling soil out of each point in the “W”. Be sure to only pull from the area that crops will be planted.
Soil Testing Options
In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, we have adjusted the options for getting your soil tested.
Option 1: Bring the soil, along with cash or check for $65, to our office between the hours of 8:30 am and 4 pm, Monday – Friday.
Option 2: Fill out the soil testing request form below, then send your soil and check to the office (3291 W. 1st Ave, Eugene, OR 97402).
Samples are not processed until payment is received. Soil samples are shipped every Friday at noon.
What you will receive
Results are received within 10 business days of shipping date (we ship the samples to the lab every Friday). Report will include translation of technical terms and crop specific amendment recommendations, as well as the following nutrient report:
- Organic Matter (%)
- Potassium (ppm)
- Calcium (pmm)
- SMP Buffer pH
- Base Saturation
- Magnesium (ppm)
- Sodium (% and ppm)
- Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
- Phosphorus (pmm)
- Magnesium (ppm)
- Potassium (%)
- Hydrogen (%)
- NRCS Soil Health
- OSU Fertilizer Guides
- Fall Cover Crops (OSU Ext)
- Native Plants & Pollinator Gardens database