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How to Take a Good Soil Sample

Getting your soil tested is a great idea and it all starts with taking a good sample. First of all start with a clean trowel; don’t use ones made of brass or soft steel and never use your hands. Have a clean plastic bucket or pail to use, don’t use galvanized steel or rubber. Do not sample your soil if it is wetter than you would want for tilling. Take about 10–12 subsamples in your garden soil or raised beds to get a good composite of your soil. Clear away any debris or organic material from the top of the soil. Dig down about 6” or as deep as you are planning to cultivate. Dry soil should be submitted for analysis, so if your soil is too wet, spread out on a newspaper and allow to air dry (and out of direct sunlight). Watch our video on How to Take a Good Soil Sample for Soil Testing for more information.

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