UGA Extension Office

Soil Testing

 There is no bad time to do a soil test, but the sooner the better, and the University of Georgia Extension can help. We offer low cost highly accurate soil testing services through our office and can help guide you to achieve your desired results. A basic soil test can save you time, money, and help ensure your plants have the best chance to succeed in your landscape or garden.

When & Why:

Generally, you want to do a soil test before you plant to ensure you are amending the soil properly, or on established plants to ensure you maintaining them appropriately. Also, plants are living organisms and can get sick with a variety of illnesses, and like a doctor taking your vitals a soil test can provide a base line of accurate information to help with diagnosis and the remedy.


To collect soil for a basic and most other soil tests you will want to collect multiple samples (10-12) from the growing area and mix them thoroughly together in a plastic container.  Fill out your information on a UGA soil testing bag and fill it with 2-3 cups worth of dirt from your collected mixture. If you don't have a soil testing bag, you can bring the soil to our office, and we have a soil station where you can transfer you sample into one of the testing bags.  Examples of a growing area for a soil test would be a flower garden, raised bed, area for a tree, or front and back yard for turfgrass. 

Soil Tests:

  • Basic Soil Test ($9): Includes pH, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese, and includes personalized recommendations.
  • Organic Matter Test ($10): Loss on ignition, LOI
  • Total Elemental Analysis ($30): P, K, Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo, B, Cu, Ni, Na, S, Zn, Al, As, Cd, Cr, Pb 
  • Potting Media Testing ($40): pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Nitrate (NO3-N), Ammonium (NH4-N) Soluble Salts
  • Lead Testing ($40): Pb
  • Texture Analysis by Hydrometer ($18 requires a gallon bag of soil): Sand%, Silt%, and Clay%
  • Priority Pollutants ($150): Sb, As, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Se, Ag, Ti, Sn

Click here for a Periodic Table for reference.

*ATTENTION* Each soil test requires at least one pint of soil to be performed. Additional testing services are available, please contact the Cobb County Extension office for more information. Pricing as shown above is per a sample and includes shipping. Soil tests are sent to the lab every Friday morning, and results take 7-10 business days to be emailed back. If you have not received your results via email in 7-10 business days from the Friday they would ship out, please contact our office.

Soil Test Instructional Video

Soil Testing Resoruces: