[NAFEX] soil testing
Mark & Helen Angermayer
hangermayer at isp.com
Sun Dec 9 00:23:51 EST 2007
I use A & L Great Lakes Laboratories and have been happy with them. They
can do a fairly extensive Ag soil test depending on what package(s) you
choose. The S1 and S3 packages test for P,K,Mg,Ca,S,Zn,Mn,Fe,Cu,B,pH,CEC,
percent base cation elements, and organic matter. Total cost for the two
packages is less than $20. This summer I also had them do a leaf analysis,
which ran about the same cost. They also do environmental testing, metals
and non-metals, but I don't know what that costs. You might start with the
Ag testing first to see if there is something way out a kilter with the
minerals. Very simple to send in a sample. For a soil sample, dig down
about 8" and collect some dirt from at least 10 different spots in the area
you want to sample. Mix these dirt samples together to make a "composite".
Put about 2 cups of your composite in a good quality ziplock bag (don't buy
their special bags). You can then go to the post office and buy a prepaid
shipping envelope for $4.50 ( the ziplock bag of soil will fit in the
envelope.) Include the soil test application (printed off their website)
and your check. They'll send you a report of the soil analysis by e-mail
after a few days followed by a hardcopy in the mail.
For some reason they don't post their prices for tests on their website.
I've always emailed them to get the prices of the lab tests I was interested
Jim Fruth uses a different lab, and likes the work they do, but I can't
remember the name.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Sadler" <>
To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2007 9:18 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] soil testing
> I previously mentioned my lifeless soil, and it was kindly suggested to me
> that I get a thorough soil test, to not just look for nutrients but
> contaminants as well. There are areas here where not even weeds grow. My
> suspicion is that the soil isn't lifeless, it's rich in pathogens; but
> testing seems quite wise.
> The thing is, I've never tested my soil. I've had big backyard gardens,
> acre or less, loaded them up with organic compost, corrected pH for
> individual types of plants, and my past gardens have been thriving and
> So where does one look for soil testing for a small backyard plot?
> ~ Stephen
> Sacramento, CA, where we think 50 is cold...
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