Soil and Turf

Lawn and Garden Soil Testing, Plant Analysis and Turf grass

Hands Holding SoilGeneral Instructions:

  1. From each area to be sampled – remove any overlying mulch, compost or sod. Soil samples should be collected from the top 5-7 inches of soil. Collect approximately one cup of soil (total) with a clean trowel or shovel from four random locations (all in the area you want sampled), or ten random locations if you are using a soil probe – which you can borrow from the Extension Office.
  2. Place these four or ten soil samples collected from your area you want tested into a clean plastic container and mix them together thoroughly. Samples from different areas should not be mixed together. Remember, the sample should only contain soil and no organic matter (you want to test the soil, not the mulch or sod).
  3. Soil from each area you want analyzed should be placed in a heavy-duty plastic or soil sample bag for analysis. (You can get the soil sample bags at the Extension Office).
  4. We have copies of the Submission Forms in our office for you to fill out, otherwise you can print them off and fill them out yourself.
  5. Bring your samples (and submission form if you printed it off at home) to the Extension Office and we will take your payment (prices listed below)
  6. Once you get your results, if you would like more information you can forward them to us at and our Agriculture Educator, Kaitlyn Davis, will go over them with you.

Lawn & Garden Soil Sampling

Are you having trouble with certain areas in your lawn or garden? Getting a soil sample professionally analyzed gives you recommendations and answers to your questions.

You can either bring your soil in a container to the Extension Office and fill out a submission form, we will accept your payment and send your sample to the UW Soil and Forage Lab, or you can print off a submission form and send your sample with payment directly to the UW Soil and Forage Lab.

  • General Instructions:

  • Applications: 

    • Home lawns, home vegetable and flower gardens, non-commercial fruit crops, landscape trees and shrubs.
  • Pricing: 

    • $3 for shipping
    • Standard Analysis: $15 per sample. Includes soil pH, organic matter %, phosphorus and potassium.
    • Includes lime and fertilizer recommendations.
    • Optional: | Soluble Salts: $7 per sample | Physical Analysis (USDA percent sand, silt, and clay): $23 per sample | Calcium and Magnesium $3 per sample |
    • Lead screening is also available for $15 per sample.

Field Soil Sampling

Wildlife Food Plot Sampling

  • General Instructions:

  • Applications:

    • Wildlife Food Plots. Accurate index of level of available nutrients in the soil; indicate the degree of nutrient deficiency that may exist for the various crops grown.
  • Pricing:

    • $3 per sample for shipping
    • Routine Analysis: $15 per sample. Includes pH, lime requirement, organic matter, phosphorus, potassium, and nutrient recommendations.
    • Optional: Calcium + Magnesium: $3 | Boron: $3 | Zinc: $3 | Manganese: $3 | Sulfur-Sulfate: $3

You will find many resources available at these sites: 

General Turf Information


UW Soil and Forage Analysis Lab Address: 
4702 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53705