Soil Testing During COVID-19

What to Do with Your Soil Samples

Because of current COVID-19 restrictions, CCE staff and volunteers are working from home, because the office is closed. However, the need for soil testing continues to be an important component of your soil health needs. Here are two options for soil testing:

For complete soil analyses, we ask that you work directly with the soil testing service, which will include taking the sample, completing the paperwork, and shipping to the laboratory in Ithaca. All information about the entire process is available at the Agro One website at

CCE staff can still provide you with a simple pH test. Each sample should represent only one area—for example, a lawn, vegetable garden, or perennial garden. Avoid brass or galvanized tools or containers that can contaminate samples. Using only tools that are clean and free of rust, take at least 8-10 core samples from each area you want tested:

  • Sample annual vegetable and flower beds to the depth that you plan to incorporate lime or fertilizer, usually about 4-6 inches.
  • Sample shrubbery and perennial beds to a depth of 4-6 inches, taking care to avoid zones where lime or fertilizer has been applied recently.
  • Sample lawns to a depth of 4 inches at the root zone.

  • Collect core samples from each area in a clean plastic bucket, mix well, then spread the soil to dry on waxed paper or other clean non-porous surface. Place no more than a cup of dry soil mix (from each area) in a plastic zipped baggie, and mark with your name, date, and telephone number. Place the bagged soil at the front entrance to either office in Cobleskill or Cooperstown. We will process as soon as possible and call you with the results. 

    If you need further assistance, contact us at or

    Last updated May 7, 2020