Don’t Guess, Get a Free Soil Test!

Why should I test my soil?

Although fertilizer, lime, and other amendments can be very helpful in establishing happy, healthy plants, they pose a risk if not used properly. Excess fertilizer and chemicals wash away with rainwater and pollute our local streams and waterways, the James River, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The first guideline of responsible fertilizer application is to take a soil sample and have it analyzed to determine fertilizer needs.

Soil samples are analyzed for specific soil nutrients to determine proper
application rates of fertilizer and lime for optimum plant growth. Routine
analysis includes soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, and B.
Completed soil test results, along with a recommendation on fertilization and liming, are mailed to the client.

How do I test my soil?

Samples will be analyzed by the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab. Samples
must be submitted to the lab in a sample box. Sampling and mailing
instructions are provided with the sample boxes. In Henrico, soil sample kits
are available at the local Extension Office or in any county library.
Samples and payment should be sent directly to the lab. Soil samples are
analyzed and recommendations generated usually within 3 working days of receipt.
Laboratory reports are mailed directly back to you and are also available from
your local Extension office, which can provide additional assistance if needed.


How much does it cost?

The routine soil test is all one normally needs for a fertility evaluation.
A routine soil test costs $10.
In order to promote the practice of soil
testing, Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District
has established a soil test incentive program to offset the cost of soil
analysis for Henrico County residents. Henricopolis will provide up to 2
coupons per household to cover the $10.00 processing fee for a standard soil
test (not including postage).* People wishing to participate in this incentive
program must request a soil test voucher.

* This offer is valid until program funding expires and is subject to change at any time.

Vouchers are available by email or in-person at the Henricopolis SWCD office.

Email requests to

Emails must include your name, physical address, and number of vouchers requested (maximum of 2 per household).

Henricopolis SWCD and Henrico Extension are co-located in the
Henrico County Human Services Building
8600 Dixon Powers Drive
Henrico, VA 23228

Henricopolis SWCD: (804) 501-5175
Henrico Extension Office: (804) 501-5160

This project received funding from the Water Quality
Improvement Fund (WQIF) grant program at the Virginia Department of
Conservation and Recreation (DCR), via grant number WQIF-2010-P07.

The following links may be helpful:
Home Lawn Fertilization in Virginia: Frequently asked Questions
Home Landscape Practices to Protect Water Quality

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