Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Soil Testing

en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Soil testing is FREE at N.C. Cooperative Extension – Wake County Center from April through November. A soil test will allow you to be a better gardener by providing specific information on how to apply the best nutrients and grow healthier plants based on your own soil.

A Soil Test Report includes:

  • pH and acidity
  • levels of major plant nutrients (including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur)
  • levels of plant micronutrients (including copper, manganese and zinc)
  • levels of sodium
  • soil class
  • percent base saturation
  • percent humic matter
  • cation exchange capacity
  • weight-to-volume ratio

How do I test my soil?

Pick up a Soil Sample Test Kit

Fill Out Box and Form

  • You may submit several boxes on one form. Take a soil test for each area of soil you treat differently in your yard. For example, a front yard lawn vs raised garden bed.

Select Sample ID and Plant Code

  • Choose a 5-letter Sample ID that identifies the soil location to help you remember exactly where each box came from. Please use your own discretion. (Example: FRONT for front yard or BLOOM for a flower bed)
  • Plant codes are numerical codes listed on the pack of the soil sample form. Choose the code that best correlates with your sample.

Collect Soil Test Sample

  • Use a soil core sampling tool or any gardening shovel to collect the soil 4-6 inches deep; one box will fill about 12 cores. Do not allow your soil to touch surfaces containing zinc (i.e. metal buckets). Remove all turf from the sample. Fill to red line.

Return Soil Sample Test Kit

  • Attach your information to the soil boxes with a rubber band. Drop off all of your soil test samples at our office in the bottom drawer of the Soil Test filing cabinet. Expect results within 2 weeks.
N.C. Cooperative Extension - Wake County Center is located in Suite E of the Agricultural Service Building.

N.C. Cooperative Extension – Wake County Center is located in Suite E of the Agricultural Service Building.

On the right side of the main entrance, there is a Soil Test file cabinet with test kits and a drop off station.

On the right side of the main entrance, there is a Soil Test file cabinet with test kits and a drop off station. Make sure to collect the correct paperwork according to your lawn, garden, or farm from the first two drawers. Once you have completed your sample collection, drop it off in the bottom drawer.

If you are unable to pick up kits during office hours, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, there are boxes located to the left of the entrance.


Contact the Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Wake County:

More Information about Soil Testing Services: NCDA&CS Agronomic Divisions’ website

Watch a Soil Sample Test Demonstration: Gardening Series – Part 1 | Town of Wake Forest, NC (

Winter Operations

After November 18th, soil samples must be delivered to the NCDA Agronomic Division at 4300 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh.

The charge is $4 per sample, payable by cash, credit card or escrow account, between the hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Gates will prevent after-hours delivery.