Soil Testing


Soil test detect shortages of major plant nutrients in soil, which seriously affect growth and development of plants.  The test does not identify or measure insects, fungi, pesticides or contaminants. The University of Missouri Extension Centers and the Kansas State Extension Centers provide soil testing services for a small fee. Steps to testing your soil and contact information is provided below.


1. Use a core device, auger, trowel, spade or other tool to collect slender cores, columns or slices of soil 6 inches in depth (3 inches on established lawns) and of a uniform diameter or thickness.
2. Take 10 or more columns or slices, at random, from the area to be tested.  Combine, crumble and blend the columns or cores thoroughly, in a clean container, removing any stones, grass or roots.
3. Take 1 pound or 1 pint of the mixture in a small clean container to the University of Missouri Extension Center in your county.
4. Provide complete information with the sample:
  • Past soil treatment
  • Uses of the soil
  • Problems that prompted test
  • Abnormal or troublesome soil condition



  • Avoid taking cores from small areas which are abnormal or different, such as backgilled ditches or under shrubs which have been given extra fertilizer.
  • If a lawn or garden has 2 or more distinctly different types of soil, such as fill soil in 1 area and native soil in another, take separate samples.
  • Do not take samples to be included in a large sampled area from small spots where grass, vegetable plants or flowers have suddenly died or changed colors.
  • Avoid taking samples when the soil is wet.  Samples that are moist should be spread to dry before submitting.



A written report of results and recommendations will be mailed to you as soon as it is completed.  The normal waiting period is 1 to 20 days.  During peak periods, up to 6 weeks of delay have occurred when gardeners have failed to plan ahead.  To avoid delays, submit samples at any time throughout summer or winter and avoid the rush periods of March to May and August to September.


University of Missouri Extension Center
1501 W. Jefferson, Suite 110, Blue Springs, MO. 64015
Cass County Extension Center - Courthouse Annex#3
302 S. Main St., Harrisonville, Mo. 64701
Clay County Extension Center - Courthouse Annex
1891 NE 48th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64118
Johnson County K-State Research Extension
11811 S. Sunset Dr. Suite 1500, Olathe, Ks.  66061-7507
Wyandotte County K-State Research Extension
1216 North 79th st., Kansas City, Ks., 66112
In Missouri, call (816) 252-5051 or
In Kansas, call (913) 715-7050 or

Copyright © 2008 Kansas City Community Gardens. All rights reserved.