UGA Extension Office

Testing Services

Soil Sample Bags Available at the County Extension Office

As a general rule soil sample 1/3 of your pastures each year and sample your hay fields every year.

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 $10.00 per bag to send to the lab. You may pay by cash, or check.

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.)

Need to know the correct way to collect soil samples or have general questions, visit the UGA Extension website.

Soil Testing Instructions for Home Lawns, Gardens, and Wildlife Food Plots





Water Tests

If you are uncertain which water test you need or how to draw water for analysis, please call the Heard County Extension Office at 706-675-3513 for guidance.

Expanded Water Test

The fee for the expanded water test is $65.00 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 Heard 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 $25.00 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 Heard 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.

W33B - Home Loan Closing Water test: (Bacteria, Lead, Nitrite, and Nitrate) $95.00 ( standard service with report sent in 5-7 business days, the test fee is $85.00 plus $10.00 (if you use a next day prepaid shipping label.)


Note: Special sampling instructions, please contact our office for more information. 706-672-4235.

*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 Heard County Extension Office Monday through Wednesday between the hours of         8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.