A soil test is an analysis of the soil that is used to diagnose soil type, pH, and any nutrient deficiencies that may exist. Soil testing can be done professionally by commercial soil laboratories or your local cooperative extension. Some nurseries have do-it-yourself soil-test kits available that can indicate certain specific problems but their results are limited.
Colorado State University routinely analyzes soil samples for pH, soluble salts, organic matter, nitrate nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, lime and soil texture. They do not test for herbicides, insecticides or foreign chemicals.
Included in a report from the Colorado State University Soil Testing Laboratory are interpretations that relate results to fertilizer and management recommendations.
Contact us for directions on correctly collecting soil samples. You can obtain the necessary forms for submitting those samples at this site: http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/SoilCrop/soillab.html
Samples should be mailed to:
Soil, Water and Plant Testing Laboratory
Do not send samples to the local cooperative extension office.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010