U of M Soil Testing

soilent_greenFebruary 19, 2012

For anyone interested, here is the link to the University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory. Mail in the soil sample, nine dollars for the basic test, which is all most gardeners would need. Added fees for various in-depth testing options. Results are mailed back to you. Much more accurate than any home do-it-yourself soil testing kits or electronic meter gizmos.


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little_minnie(zone 4a)

The basic test is $15 but the farm test is $9. I believe. I do the farm test since I have 1/2 acre garden and am organic and don't care about the fertilizer recommendations. $15 is one of the higher costs for soil tests around BTW. Especially if you have more than one area to test.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Thanks for the correction. Typical confusing bureaucratic paperwork threw me a bit off the trail. Kind of odd that there are two different prices but the tests seem to be for the same things.

Minnie, can you toss out some leads for any other sources in Minnesota that do soil testing cheaper and cater to home gardeners? Just wondering what you had in mind regarding cheaper services elsewhere.

I found a list of Mn Dept. of Ag. certified soil testing laboratories at:


Many companies on the list are out of state. A cursory investigation found some of the websites to be most unhelpful and vague, some are big-ag related and don't seem interested in offering their services to home gardeners, and some are excellent and very informative but I found test costs to be more expensive than the U of M.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:02PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Oh people on other forums always talk about soil testing labs here and there. You can send your soil anywhere in the country; it doesn't have to be tested in MN. I don't have any specific info but could get some if you want from my og forum.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Yes, a person certainly can ship the soil sample out of state but I prefer to keep my spending in-state or local when possible.

I guess I will just stick with the company I have already been working with. A little more expensive testing costs but it is a private, local, tax-paying, job-creating buiness rather than a money-siphoning government entity. I test every three years so my costs per growing season are insignificant.

I originally posted just to make sure folks, especially new gardeners, are aware that there are affordable options out there rather than buying into those practically useless home do-it-yourself things offered in seed catalogs. I do appreciate you correcting the information I offered because incorrect info is worse than no info.

Enjoyed the conversation. Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:40PM
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