Soil Sample For Better Results: Fall is a Great Time to Send in a Sample!

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Article Contributed by
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County

As the busy summer season winds down for farmers, gardeners, and land owners it might be a good option to begin a soil sampling routine. Sampling in the fall is a great way to get a head start on any soil amendments or recommendations that might need to be followed. Soil samples should be done at least once every three years.

Testing soil is the only way to know exactly how much lime and fertilizer that might be needed to ensure the proper pH and nutrient availability for large agricultural crops, diverse home gardens, and picture-perfect lawns. A full analysis soil test will provide comprehensive recommendations that include lime application information, soil health information, and fertilizer applications. Properly applying nutrients, especially phosphorus, can decrease nutrient run-off and help to protect the environment.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County Farm Business Management Educator, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, can help you with your Soil Sampling goals. Contact CCE-Chautauqua by calling 716-664-9502 ext. 202 or emailing kaw249@cornell.edu for assistance with instructions for collecting a sample, completing the accompanying forms, and sending the sample to the lab for analysis. A full analysis soil sample costs $20 and includes lab fees, shipping, and follow-up result interpretations and assistance.