Soil Testing Information

Soil Tests for Agriculture Crops, Commercial Growers, Pastures, and Wildlife Forage:


Soil sample boxes may be purchased from the Kalamazoo Conservation District and MSUE office for $12.00 (no tax).  Along with the box, you will receive a field crops Soil Sample Information Form to be filled out and sent with your soil sample to the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory.  The lab address is on the box.  You will be responsible for mailing/shipping your own soil samples to the lab.


Soil Tests for Flower Gardens, Trees and Shrubs/Lawns and Vegetable Gardens


Soil testing is a recommended practice to avoid over fertilization. Applying the correct amount of fertilizer can save money and protect Michigan's water resources. The Soil Test Kit Self-mailers may be purchased from the Kalamazoo Conservation District Office ($26.25, no tax), MSU Extention office or from the MSU Extension Bookstore at (Product code E3154 for $25.00 +shipping). Kit price includes postage for sending in soil sample.  Once you have the kit, fill out the enclosed form and mail the sample and completed form in the postage-paid envelope to the lab.  NOTE: You must provide an email address as results will be sent directly to you via email.  If you would like help interpreting test results, call the MSU Extension statewide Lawn and Garden Helpline at 1-888-678-3464, option 1.


Just click on the image to be directed to the MSUE Bookstore to order your soil testing kit.

Basic instructions for collecting samples:


1.  Using a soil probe, spade or trowel, and a clean plastic pail, sample in a zigzag fashion throughout a uniform area.


2.  Take a representative sampling of the soil in the area you are testing, 15-20 subsamples.Sampling depths are as follows:

  • Field Soils - 8 inches
  • Garden Soils - 6 to 8 inches
  • Lawn - 3 inches below turf

3.  Combine all samples into the plastic pail and mix thoroughly.  Fill a soil sample box with the sample, or package about a pint of soil.


4.  Fill out an information form and send it in with the soil sample to the soil testing lab.


You will find more information on soil testing, interpreting test results, area calculator, fertilizer calculator at

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