Frequently Asked Questions about South Carolina Gardening

How do I take a soil sample?

To have a soil analysis done, collect 12 or more cores which will be combined as one composite sample. The samples should include soil from the surface to a depth of 6 inches in all areas except for lawns where cores should be taken from a depth of only 2 to 3 inches. A simple garden trowel can be used to collect the samples. Place the samples in a clean bucket and mix them thoroughly. It is imperative to use clean sampling tools. Pesticide or fertilizer residues will create misleading results. The sample must not be excessively wet before it goes to the lab. Bring a minimum of 2 cups of soil per sample to your county Extension office. Be sure to keep track of which part of your yard the sample came from. At the Extension office they will ask you to fill out the information on a soil test box, fill out a record sheet and check the appropriate boxes for the analyses desired.