Delaware Soil Testing Program
University of Delaware Soil Testing Program is Open
While many aspects of University operations have been suspended or moved to remote operation, the Soil Testing Program has been given permission to remain open and in operation to support the needs of our clients. We realize that this is a critical time of year for many of you and we will be continuing to process samples to provide you with the information you need.
Why soil test?
Soil testing provides useful information to help people manage their land. A farmer or home gardener might have his/her soil tested to determine how much lime or fertilizer is needed to grow plants and/or avoid over-applying nutrient sources like manure. Parents might test the soil in their yard to see if hazardous amounts of lead or arsenic are present before installing a backyard playset for their children, or before beginning a new vegetable garden. Archeologists use soil testing to learn about past land use at historical sites. Scientists test soil to monitor the effects of new management practices on soil properties and environmental conditions.
Providing accurate analyses and unbiased interpretations to clients since 1947.
The UD Soil Testing Program provides a variety of soil testing and educational support to farmers, homeowners and others engaged in soil management and land use. The program is offered as a public service of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
Analyses are provided on a “Fee for Service” basis
Additional analytical services are available to meet the needs of researchers both within and outside of the University community. Information on additional analytical services can be found on the General Program Information page.
Soil fertility methods offered are appropriate for soils in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States – Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, District of Columbia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
How to take a soil sample >
Since some delivery services have been temporarily suspended or are working on a reduced schedule, we are asking that samples be MAILED to us at the following address:
UD Soil Testing Laboratory
PO Box 9089
Newark, DE 19714
Samples already in transit using our usual address and the postal service or other delivery services will be processed as soon as received, but may incur a slight delay due to the reduced / limited schedule of the campus Mail and Delivery offices and the state courier service.
How to Submit Samples Without Regular Soil Test Bags
Since County Extension offices are presently closed, you may need to submit your sample(s) without the normal soil test bags. To do so, please follow the steps listed below:
1. Collect a representative sample by following the directions in the brochure "How to Take a Soil Sample" found in Link at the bottom of this page.
2. Thoroughly mix each sample and place 1-1.5 cups of the mixed sample into a ziplock bag. Label the bag with your name and the sample ID (e.g., Field 6, Backyard, etc)
3. Down the appropriate information sheet from the “Soil Testing Program Forms” page at right. Complete one copy of the information sheet for each sample. Be sure that the sample ID on the bag and the sample ID on the information sheet match.
4. Enclose payment or indicate on the back of the information that you wish to pay by credit card. Checks should be made payable to the University of Delaware. If paying by credit card, DO NOT write your card number on the information sheet. Instead, list a daytime phone number and our office will contact you for payment.
5. Place the samples and information sheet in a box or mailing envelope and send to the laboratory using the following address above.
Mailer kits may also be available from local garden centers. You can call our office to see which locations near you may have kits on-hand.
Additional Questions Please call the office at 302-831-1392 or email Soiltest@udel.edu with any additional questions you may have. We are in the office and happy to help.