UGA Extension Office

Testing Services

Soil Sample Bags Available at Extension Office

Soil tests will provide valuable information on the soil’s actual nutrient status. Test results are used to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth of lawn, garden and other types of plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does a soil sample cost?
A:  Soil samples cost $9.00 per bag to send to the lab. You may pay by cash, check or credit card.

Q: When and how often should soils be tested?

A: Soils can be tested any time during the year. However, allow enough time for the analysis and for fertilizer and lime application. Lime reacts slowly and, if possible, it should be mixed with the soil two to three months before planting. Generally, fall is the most desirable time to sample because landscapes and gardens are usually dry and easily accessible.

Once medium or high fertility levels are established, lawn and ornamental areas need to be sampled every two to three years.

Vegetable gardens should be sampled every 1 to 2 years.

Q: How soon will I get my results back (turn-around-time)?

A: It takes 7 to 10 days from the time we receive the samples to the time you get your test reports back. (Holidays will increase turn-around time.)

Q: Who do I contact regarding my soil test results and recommendations if I don’t understand the numbers?

A: The Soil Test Report provides an interpretation of all soil tests done by the Soil Testing Lab and is accompanied by appropriate nutrient and lime recommendations. If you need further information about your test results, contact the Coweta County University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office at (770) 254-2620.

To find out how to take a soil sample.

Water Tests

If you are uncertain which water test you need or how to draw water for analysis, please call the Coweta County Extension office at 770.254.2620 for guidance.  

Expanded Water Test

The fee for the expanded water test is $63.00 per sample and will test for the pH, and minerals contained in the basic test plus chloride, fluoride, nitrate, phosphate, sulfate, soluble salts and alkalinity. One pint of water is needed for the expanded water test and needs to be the first draw of the morning from the source most often used (usually the kitchen sink). Use a sterilized jar (no residue of previous contents) or pick up a container from the Coweta County Extension office. Please do not use a jar that has contained pickles, vinegar or salsa.

A basic water sample will test for pH and hardness, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, aluminum, chromium, manganese, copper, cadmium, iron, zinc, sodium, nickel, magnesium, boron, molybdenum and silica.  The fee is $23.00 per sample and will take approximately 7-10 working days. To have your well water tested, you will need one full cup of water in a sterilized jar (no residue of previous contents) or pick up a container from the Coweta County Extension office. Please do not use a jar that has contained pickles, vinegar or salsa.

The bacteria water test kit is $46.00 per sample and tests for total coliform and E. coli levels. The kit is available through the Extension office and includes a sampling bottle, detailed instructions and an overnight shipping label.

*When testing a well that has not been used for a lengthy period of time (such as a foreclosed home), you should flush the system prior to testing by running all faucets for
2-3 hours. After flushing the system, follow the directions above to collect a proper sample.

*Water Samples are accepted at the Coweta County Extension Office Monday through Wednesday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Pond Samples

We offer a water hardness test for ponds that helps determine the need for lime. You may submit the pond water sample to the Extension office anytime Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in a quart jar. This is a free test provided by the Extension agent.

Forage Samples 


The basic test includes moisture, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), crude fiber (estimated), crude protein, lignin, Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN), and Relative Forage Quality (RFQ).  The fee is $15.00 per sample.  Some of the individual elements listed above can be tested individually and other tests are available. Call the office at 770.254.2620 for more information on other tests.  Follow instructions below for sampling.

Sampling is a major factor affecting the accuracy of forage quality analyses. A core sampler is available for use. It can be checked out from the Extension office. (A $50 deposit is required and will be refunded when the sampler is returned in working order.) Samples taken without the use of a core sampler are discouraged. Bring your sample in a gallon ziplock plastic bag to the Extension office. Forage samples are accepted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 2 p.m.