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How should a soil sample(s) be taken?

 Drawing of tools needed

For homeowners to test lawn or garden soils for fertility needs:

 

  1. Use a spade or trowel to remove a slice of soil 6 inches deep, or use a soil probe to obtain 6 inch cores.
  2. Obtain up to 15-20 similar sections or cores from other random places in your garden or lawn. Do not take samples where fertilizer has been spilled or manure has been piled. Do not include debris such as leaves, sticks, or large stones in your sample.
  3. Put these samples in a plastic pail.
  4. Mix soil thoroughly in the pail.
  5. Remove about one pint of the well-mixed soil and dry it at room temperature.
  6. Place the dried soil in a container and deliver the sample to your local Extension office. Fill out the submission form found there. The results will be available a few days after they arrive at the laboratory at Mississippi State

Farmers, please see these Extension Publications:

IS346 "Soil Testing for the Farmer" and P1224 "Plant Analysis Sampling Instructions".

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News

Raking leaves
Filed Under: Soil Testing, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens September 28, 2021

Autumn is officially here! It’s not hard to love this time of year. Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing, and there will be more branches than foliage soon. It’s hard not to love this time of year! As we close out this calendar year, it’s easy to convince yourself there’s not much to do in the yard. Take a break, but also take time to check off these tasks

Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing, Healthy Soils and Water September 8, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Far too often in Mississippi, soil management after major weather events must be considered, but landowners affected by Hurricane Ida now have a guide on how to approach this task.

“Soil Management After Hurricane Ida” is available online on the Mississippi Crop Situation blog at https://www.mississippi-crops.com/2021/09/02/soil-management-after-hurricane-ida/.

Filed Under: Soil Testing June 17, 2021

Mississippi agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in carbon sequestration can test their soil’s carbon content through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

A hand with a a grey glove on planting a series of bulbs in the soil.
Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Soil Testing September 28, 2020

Video by Michaela Parker

We’ve finally made it to fall! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and I can’t wait to purchase pumpkins and mums for my front porch! 

If you’re trying to stay on top of what tasks you should be doing in your yard and garden, check out these four for the month of October.

Image shows a transparent, worm-like creature.
Filed Under: Soil Health, Plant Diseases and Nematode Diagnostic Services, Soil Testing August 31, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering another year of free testing for often overlooked nematode pests that frequently cause poor crop performance.

Watch

How to Take a Soil Sample - MSU Extension Service
Extension Stories

How to Take a Soil Sample

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 1:45pm
Interpreting Soil Test Results - MSU Extension Service
Extension Stories

Interpreting Soil Test Results

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 1:30pm

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Your Extension Experts

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Laboratory Coordinator
Soil Testing Lab