So, you're ready to plant a small family garden, a game/wildlife food plot, or invest in a new commercial crop? Then you need to test the soil to determine the specific requirements. The first step is usually to stop by your local Extension office for soil sample bags and an addressed shipping container to send sample to the Soil Testing Laboratory. You can also contact the Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) directly at:
A soil testing form (see forms below) and full payment for the requested services should accompany the samples. Samples may be sent directly to the ESTL via the U.S. Postal Service or express delivery companies. Instructions for the soil sample including address are printed on the forms.
Soil Test Forms
- Download Soil Test Form [PDF 42KB] : This form has been designed for use by commercial producers and those seeking to develop a game food plot. Choose this test for pasture, forage, field, vegetable and fruit crops. Again, mailing boxes for shipping samples to the ESTL are also available from the county Extension office. Samples may also be personally delivered directly to the laboratory in order to avoid shipping/mailing delays.
- Download Landscape and Vegetable Garden Producer Test Form [PDF 55KB]: - Both private and commercial clients fertilizing plants in the home landscape should use this form. There are two options for this test. The first soil test option is for soil pH and lime requirement determination. No other nutrient analysis or fertilizer recommendation is provided under this option (visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for general fertilizer recommendations). This second soil test option tests for soil pH and lime requirement along with macronutrients (Mehlich-1 extractable P, K, Ca and Mg). This information is then used to calculate specific lime and fertilizer recommendations for the crop of interest and is included in the soil test report along with the appropriate footnotes. This allows the homeowner or gardener to develop their fertilization program according to the specific fertilizer needs of the crop they are growing. Recommendations are made for a variety of crops including landscaping plants, ornamentals, vegetable gardens, and lawn grasses (bahia, bermuda, centipede, St Augustine, etc) and are reported as either pounds of nutrient per 100 square feet or per 1000 square feet.
Visit the Extension Soil Testing Laboratory for more information about these forms and a more detailed overview of additional soil surveys performed by the University of Florida IFAS.
Sample analysis generally requires an average of five working days from the time the sample is received at the ESTL. Results are e-mailed or mailed directly to the address provided on the submission form. Additionally, a copy of these results is sent to the county Extension office. All county Extension offices have the capacity to receive test results via electronic mail. Clients are encouraged to contact their county Extension office when seeking further assistance. Clients may also request to receive a copy of their results via fax.
This information is adapted from the EDIS document titled UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) Analytical Procedures and Training Manual.
Please visit the EDIS publication, UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) Analytical Procedures and Training Manual, for detailed information or contact Clay Olson at the Taylor County Extension Office at (850) 838-3508.
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