Soil Sampling

During COVID-19 (coronavirus), soil sampling and other related technical assistance one on one appointments only, are  being scheduled by our Conservation Planner Joel Betts who will be wearing a mask at all times, during your appointment. Soil samples are being sent to UMaine Soil Lab since testing services are currently suspended until further notice due to closures of the soil testing lab at UMass Amherst because of COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns.

WCCD offers soil sampling to Worcester County landowners and occupiers. For a reasonable $40 per sample fee, our staff will visit your site and take soil samples for you. They will then dry your samples and mail them to the lab. If interested, once the lab has finished their analysis, our staff can walk you through the results, and can make recommendations based on your needs.

Our conservation planner would be happy to come to your property and collect samples according to the UMass Soil Lab protocols.  We recommend one sample per “management unit”, which means that we would recommend sampling your lawn separately from your garden, for example.  This allows for greater accuracy of the results and make sure you get appropriate fertilizer recommendations.

The sample(s) will be brought back to our office, where they will be dried and send to the Soil Lab at UMass. We currently offer their routine soil analysis, including organic matter.  This includes pH, plant-available nutrients (P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, S), lead (Pb), and aluminum (Al), and cation exchange capacity and base saturation.  The methods used in the UMass lab were developed to be used for New England soils and climate.

The cost is $40 per sample.  If you have an average garden, it’s not likely that you will need to take more than one sample, but we can determine your needs on site. Each sample sent to the lab will be made up of several sub-samples taken from different areas of your yard, which will give you a better representation. The lab results take up to several weeks and offer fertility recommendations based on the finding. We are happy to help interpret those if there is a specific product or management technique you’d like to use.

If you decide you’d like a follow-up site visit, that would be $30/hour. A follow-up might be for something like assistance with weed identification, or other such recommendations, and is completely optional.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your soil tested or if you have any further questions, please email our Conservation Planner, Joel Betts at .

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