Soil Testing

The Massachusetts Master Gardener Association is pleased to announce that we will offer soil testing at the Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market.

One of the most important components of healthy garden plants is good soil. The most accurate and effective way to assess the nutrient status and the relative acidity of the soil (pH) is through soil testing. Learn more about the health of your soil by having your soil tested. We can offer you basic information about your soil sample and recommendations for improving your soil’s pH and nutrient levels.

The most important step in soil testing is the collection of a representative sample to submit for soil testing. As the sample to be tested is representative, take 10-15 random soil samples from the same specific area to be tested within the same planting zone. For each sample, first scrape away any plant material from the surface of the area where the soil will be collected. Then using a small shovel, soil corer, or garden knife, take 10-15 random soil samples and place them in a clean bucket. Samples should be one inch in diameter, four inches deep for turf grasses and six inches for other plant material. When all soil samples are collected, thoroughly mix them together. Place one to two cups of the mixed soil into a plastic bag. The soil must be completely dry before it can be tested. The soil sample should not include any roots, rocks, plant material or worms.