• UD Search

General Information

What soil tests are available:

We offer several types of tests to meet the needs of our varied clientele. The “Soil Fertility Tests” and the “Lead Screening Test” are the tests most commonly used by farmers, homeowners, landscapers and others who:

A summary of these tests is shown here:

Test
Description
Fee
Routine Soil Test with Lead for Home Gardeners
pH, lime requirement, organic matter, Mehlich 3 extractable nutrients [Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium(Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Sulfur (S) and Aluminum (Al)] and recommendations for three plants / crops. Includes screening for soil Lead content.
$15.00
Routine Soil Test for Agricultural Operations, Lawn Care Companies and Landscapers
pH, lime requirement, organic matter, Mehlich 3 extractable nutrients [Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium(Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Sulfur (S) and Aluminum (Al)] and recommendations for three plants / crops.
$12.00
Soluble Salts
Measures dissolved salts, high levels of which may inhibit seed germination and be harmful to seedlings and sensitive plants.
$6.00
Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test for Corn
Measures soil nitrate levels in the soil at the point of maximum nitrogen uptake. Includes N recommendations and 24 hour turn around.
$8.00
Soil Lead Screening
An initial screen for those who suspect that their soil may be contaminated with lead. The test requires a special soil test kit with specific instructions on collecting the sample. This test is only a screen and further testing by an environmental laboratory may be recommended based upon the results.
$12.00

Upon request, soil samples can be tested for heavy metals (in addition to the Soil Lead Screening test listed above): Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), and Nickel (Ni). Also upon request, soil samples can be tested for Sodium (Na). Contact the program at 302-831-1392 or email: Soiltest@udel.edu for additional information on requests for testing for the presence of heavy metals or sodium.

Additional information on testing soils for Lead, Arsenic and other heavy metals in Soils:

Researchers or students interested in the availability of testing soil for the presence of elements not listed above should contact the program at 302-831-1392 or email: Soiltest@udel.edu.

The program also offers a variety of other tests for soils, plants, waters and other materials. For further information on all the tests offered, along with their fees, see the Soil Testing Program Fee Schedule.

How do I have my soil tested?

To have your soil tested, purchase the appropriate University of Delaware soil test kit at one of the locations listed below. (Refer to the section below: Where can I get a soil test kit?). The kit consists of an envelope with cloth bag attached and an information sheet appropriate to the type of testing you require (e.g., commercial farm, lawn&garden, soil lead screening, PSNT). Following the directions given in the “How to Collect a Soil Sample” brochure, use a clean bucket and trowel, spade or soil probe to collect a representative sample of the site. Thoroughly mix the soil. Place 1 to 1½ cups of mixed soil into the plastic bag and place the plastic bag into the cloth bag. Tie the end closed with the drawstring. Fill out the information sheet and enclose it in the envelope. The completed sample can then be returned to the Soil Testing Program.

Where can I get a soil test kit?

Option A: (On-Line)

Soil test kits may be purchased on-line from this web site by going to the Order Kits tab.

Or;

Option B: (County Extension Office)

Soil test kits can be purchased at any of the three UD Cooperative Extension Offices listed below.

461 Wyoming Rd
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-2506

Paradee Center
69 Transportation Circle
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 730-4000

Research and Education Center
16483 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, DE 19947
(302) 856-7303

Or;

Option C: (On-site or via mail)

Soil test kits may also be purchased on-site or ordered directly from the UD Soil Testing Program. To order by mail, send a letter indicating the number and type of kits requested along with check for the appropriate amount payable to “University of Delaware”. Be sure to indicate the address to which the kits should be mailed. Send the request to:

UD Soil Testing Program
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
152 Townsend Hall
531 South College Avenue
Newark, DE 19716-2170

How long will it take to get my results?

Typically, your results will be mailed out within 10 working days (M-F) of the sample’s arrival at the laboratory. During peak periods (December – Early April), it may be as long as 15 working days.

Who do I call if I have a question about my results?

Questions about your soil test results and / or recommendations can be answered by either your local county Extension agent or by the Master Gardener Garden Help Line. The phone numbers for Delaware Cooperative offices are listed above and are also printed on the soil test report for all Delaware residents. Clients from other states can find the phone numbers for their local Cooperative Extension office in their local phone book.

What if I lose my report or change my mind about what I want to grow?

Soil test results are stored in our archive for several years. If you wish to have new reports generated, please call the Soil Testing Program Office at (302) 831-1392. Give us your name, bag number and/or lab number and we will be happy to generate a new report for you.

Reporting Procedures

Routine fertility test reports are printed on UD Soil Test Report Forms. Reports for other sample types are usually generated in spreadsheet format. Hardcopies of reports will be mailed to the client and any other designated party specified on the sample information sheet or the analysis request form.

Copies of routine fertility soil test reports for Delaware clients will be sent to their County Extension Office so that Cooperative Extension Staff my assist clients with questions about their reports. Individual report information will not be released to any persons other than those whose names are listed on the report except by the written request of the paying client(s) to the Director of the University of Delaware Soil Testing Program.

Electronic copies of reports, either as pdf files, a spreadsheet or NuManPro data file, may be requested in addition to the hard copy version. Please provide your e-mail address on your information sheet or analysis request form to be sent an electronic copy.

Print This Page Print This Page