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Brown County

Soil Tests: Lawn & Garden


Step 1

Identify the areas to be sampled on the information sheet and divide your garden beds into sample areas. Create Sample ID Labels (Ex. "Garden Bed #1, NW Raised Bed, Vegetable Garden, Front Lawn Section 1, etc). Make a map of which sections are labeled what for your own use when you receive results. Each area should have the same soil texture, color, slope, and previous fertilization and gardening history.

Step 2

From each area, take 4-5 samples, mix thoroughly in a clean container. Fill one soil container from this mixture, and discard the rest. Be sure to remove any plant material. Repeat for each desired testing area. Depth recommendations are as follows:

  • 3 inch depth for lawns
  • 6 inch depth for flowers, vegetables, and small fruits
  • 10-12 inch depth for trees and shrubs

Step 3

Be sure to label the soil container clearly with a Sample ID and record each Sample ID on the information sheet. Choose a package or specific soil test to be performed for each sample listed on the information sheet.

Step 4

Air drying samples is recommended but not required. Do not use heat to dry soil samples as it may compromise accurate results. Drop off samples and information sheets at the Brown County Extension Office. Results will be mailed to address listed on information sheet with an invoice to include soil test price and postage.