UGA Extension Office

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Home Horticulture | Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

For publications relating to lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables, etc., please visit our Publications page and type in a keyword ('tomatoes', 'pecans'....) in the 'Search Publications' box.

Pesticide Applicator Licensing

Other Resources

Commercial & Professional Services

Local U-Pick Farms & Agritourism

Local Agricultural & Environmental Associations

Diagnostic Services

Soil Testing1

Determining the fertility level of a soil through a soil test is the first step in planning a sound lime and fertilizer program. Most Georgia soils are low in pH and/or one of the essential plant nutrients. Therefore, to maintain normal plant growth, lime and fertilizer must be applied in sufficient quality to meet the crop requirement. A SOIL TEST is the best means available to determine this requirement.

**Effective June 1, 2020 testing prices will be as follows for Cherokee County residents.

  • Routine Soil Test.................................$10.00 per sample (includes postage):
    Includes pH, Lime Requirement, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and Manganese. At least a pint of soil is needed per soil sample to be tested. The lab cannot process samples that are less than a pint. Be sure to pull the soil sample from several spots at random to get a good representative sample. You may bring samples in a pint size plastic freezer bag (filled full) if you don't have a soil sample bag. Please follow the procedures for collecting soil samples below.
  • Soil Test Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Soil sample bags and water bottles can be picked up at the Extension office.

Water Testing1

  • Water Test Frequently Ask Questions / Household Water Quality Publications
  • All well water samples should be collected from the first draw of water out of the kitchen faucet or from the faucet used most often for drinking. A first draw water sample is collected (after a minimum of 6 hours, but not more than a 12 hour period) during which time there was no water usage from that faucet prior to sampling. Either early morning or evening upon returning from home are the best sampling times to ensure a good sample. Place a clean sample container below the faucet and gently open the cold water tap to fill sample bottles. At least a 1 pint (500 mL) is needed for most samples. Water Sampling Instructions
  • Expanded Water Test..........................$65.00 per sample (includes postage):
    Designed to address common well water problems in Georgia such as corrosion, high levels of iron and manganese, and nitrate from various sources. This test package should be done at least once on wells before using a less inclusive test. The Expanded Water Test is required for installation and design of home water treatment systems. This test includes the Basic Water Test (see below), Anions, Soluble Salts, and Alkalinity tests.
  • Basic Water Test...................................$25.00 per sample (includes postage):
    pH and Water Hardness, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Aluminum, Chromium, Manganese, Copper, Cadmium, Iron, Zinc, Sodium, Nickel, Magnesium, Boron, Molybdenum, and Silica
  • Water Lead Test Only...........................$45.00 per sample (includes postage):
    Lead testing is recommended for homes and/or wells built prior to 1985. Pipes could contain lead solder which could leach into your drinking water.
  • Water Arsenic Test Only.......................$45.00 per sample (includes postage):
    Arsenic testing is recommended for wells located on old farm sites where pesticides may have been used for cotton production or fruit orchards between 1920-1940.
  • Lead and Arsenic Test Combined--If you would like to have your water tested for both Lead and Arsenic at the same time, the fee is only $55 for a combined sample.
  • Bacteria Test........................................$36.00 per sample (Overnight postage not included and resposibility of client):
    The most common microbiology test checks for the presence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria. This test requires a special test kit with sample instructions available at the Extension office. This test is recommended annually on home wells. Visit website for more information about disinfecting your well water through shock chlorination.
  • W33B Home Loan Water Testing.......Thus the standard turn-around-time for W33B package is 5-7 business days after receipt, the fee is $85/sample (overnight postage not included and responsibility of client)Information sheet on W33B water testing.
  • Other Water Tests are available upon request.

Forage Testing: $25, includes postage (basic forage analysis)1

Forestry or Tree Disorder Troubleshooting: $15 (only for samples sent to lab)2

Insect Identification: No fee2

Nematode Assays: $15 (predictive samples sent to lab)1

Plant Disease Diagnostics: $15 (only for samples sent to lab)2

Plant or Weed Identification: No fee2

Radon Testing: $13

Turfgrass Troubleshooting: $15 (only for samples sent to lab)2

Wildlife Identification: No fee2

* Most samples are processed by our lab within 5-10 business days.

1 Other Special Analyses Available upon request.

2 No fee for in-office diagnosis.