How to Take a Soil Sample


General Sample Taking Information

Specific directions for collecting a sample can be found on individual forms. In general samples should be collected as follows:

  • The soil sample should be representative of the area for which you want recommendations.
  • Avoid areas that have an obvious difference in soil type, drainage, or plant growth.
  • Take samples from 6-8 spots in each garden or lawn area you want tested. Mix these 6-8 spots together to create a representative sample of the area.
  • Each sample should be taken from a depth of 6" for gardens, 6"- 8" for trees and shrubs, and 3-4" for lawns.
  • The sample can be taken with a spade, shovel, trowel, soil probe or auger.
  • Air dry, remove stones and other debris.
  • Submit ONLY 1 cup of dry soil in a clean zip-lock bag, labeled with a name unique to that sample. (e.g., Front lawn, Vegetable garden.)
  • Make sure you include the sample name(s) and the crop to be grown on the form.
  • Mail or drop off the soil, the completed form and a check payable to UNHCE.


If requesting texture class, send 2 cups of soil.

If using the Compost form, send 4- 6 cups.