I have an 8 x 12 raised vegetable garden. I was wondering where I can send a soil sample to have it tested?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello John in Kentucky: Having your soil tested is always a good idea just to give you an idea of pH and nutrient levels, and if you need to amend or add anything back to the soil. In Louisville, the Jefferson County Extension Service is the place to have this done. The offices are located at 810 Barret Avenue and their phone number is (502) 569-2344; this is where you can drop off your soil samples so they can send them to the lab at the University of Kentucky. Since you are only interested in having your soil tested for the vegetable garden, make sure you let the horticulture agent know this when you drop your sample off. You may need to fill out a form and you will also want to mention this on the form. To take your samples, you will need a spade or auger and a clean plastic pail. You will want to take 10-15 random samples and each should be 4-6 inches deep. You will need a total of 2 cups of soil. Make sure the soil is dry before mixing it all together and taking it in to the office. There is a small fee to have your soil tested but it’s worth every penny in terms of maintaining plant health. If you have recently added compost or any type of plant food your soil samples will not come back accurate. If you are interested in watching a video on how to take soil samples you can visit http://jefferson.ca.uky.edu/index.php?q=horticulture and click on the link to the soil sample video.