Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory
Soil Sample Information Sheet for Home Lawns, Gardens, Fruits, and Ornamentals
INSTRUCTIONS: See other side for sampling instructions. For a recommendation, be sure to fill in the plant code number.
Place check marks ( √ ) where appropriate. Use another form for commercial crop production. Send samples, forms, and
payment to Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab, 145 Smyth Hall (0465), Blacksburg, VA 24061, in a sturdy shipping carton. Processing
will be delayed if soil is not received in an official sample box. See www.soiltest.vt.edu for more information.
Your Name ______________________________________________________________________________________ Date sampled:
Street, Route _____________________________________________________________________________________ __________
Office Use only
City ____________________________________________________ ZIP (required) __________________________
Telephone No. _________________________________ County __________________________________________ unit Code:
Extra Copy For (Dealer, etc.): _______________________________________________________________________
Street, Route _____________________________________________________________________________________
City ________________________________________________ ZIP (required) ______________________________
PLANT CODE LIST
SAMPLE PLANT TO
IDENTIFICATION BE GROWN
Lawn: Kentucky Bluegrass, Non-Acid-Loving Shrubs
Insert Plant Fescue, or Ryegrass and Trees
Your Sample Box
Number or Name Code # 201 Establishing New Lawn 245 Shrubs - Lilac, Forsythia, Box-
(Up to 5 digits) from list at right 202 Maintaining Lawn, Repair of wood, etc.
Bare Spots 246 Trees - Pine, Maple, Oak, etc.
Lawn: Bermudagrass, Fruits
Zoysiagrass, or St. Agustine 220 Apples
203 Establishing New Lawn
204 Maintaining Lawn, Repair of 223 Currants
SOIL INFORMATION Bare Spots 224 Gooseberries
Garden 226 Nectarines
Last Lime Application
210 Vegetable Garden 227 Peaches
Months Pounds per 211 Flower Garden 228 Pears
Previous 1,000 sq ft. 212 Roses 229 Plums
— 0 Acid-Loving Shrubs 231 Raspberries
0–6 10 – 50 232 Sour Cherry
7 – 12 51 – 100 233 Strawberries
13 – 18 101 – 150 234 Sweet Cherries
243 Laurel House Plants
244 Rhododendron 250 Potted House Plants
SOIL TESTS DESIRED AND FEES IN-STATE
COST PER SAMPLE
Routine (soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, B, and estimated CEC) $ 10.00 $16.00
Organic Matter – Determines percentage in soil – no recommendation given $ 4.00 $ 6.00
Soluble Salts – Determines if fertilizer salts are too high $ 2.00 $ 3.00
Fax Results: FAX # (_______) _______________________________________ $ 1.00 $ 2.00
Send in payment along with soil sample and form; make check or money order payable to “Treasurer, Virginia Tech.”
For test results to be meaningful, use extreme care when taking soil samples. Each sample represents many tons
of soil in your lawn or garden. Test results cannot be any more accurate than the sample submitted to the labora-
tory. Do not take samples when the soil is extremely wet.
Divide your lawn or garden into sampling areas. Each area should be uniform in the kind of soil and in the past
fertilizer and lime treatments it has received. An example would be separate samples (areas) for front and back
lawns. For shrubs and trees, select an area from the trunk to the outer edges of the branches. Take a separate
sample from each area as shown in the diagram below.
use the following procedure for each sampling area:
A– Take samples with a trowel, shovel, spade, or auger. Make a vertical cut 4" deep for lawns, or to plow-
ing depth for gardens, and push the soil aside. Then cut a thin slice from the side of the opening that is of
uniform thickness, approximately 2" in width, and extending from the top of the ground to the depth of the
cut. Scrape away or discard any surface mat of grass or litter and place the slice of soil into a clean bucket
or other container. Follow this sampling procedure in 10 or more different locations within each sampling
area, each time placing the resulting soil in the same container, giving you a composite sample.
B– Thoroughly mix the soil from the composite sample and then fill the sample box to the top with the mix-
ture. Fill in the information requested on the side of the sample box, including sample number,
complete the other side of this sheet, and send sample, sheet, and payment directly to the Soil Testing Labo-
For additional sampling instructions go to www.soiltest.vt.edu.
Reviewed by Steve Heckendorn, laboratory manager, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Produced by Communications and Marketing, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2009
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion,
age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University,
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Rick D. Rudd, Interim Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia
Tech, Blacksburg; Alma C. Hobbs, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.
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