Soil Testing Resources for Gardeners

Concerned About Contamination?

Concerned that contamination may have affected your garden soil? Our Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities Metals in Urban Garden Soils fact sheet (Metales en suelos de jardines urbanos) provides information on how to interpret testing results for metals commonly found in urban and other soils. The Cornell Waste Management Institute's Guide to Soil Testing and Interpreting Results gives advice about where to collect samples and what to test for.

Where Should I Have My Garden Soil Tested?

picture of a garden

You should contact a laboratory certified by New York State's Environmental Laboratory Approval Program.

The list of approved laboratories is sorted alphabetically, by county. You do not need to choose a laboratory in your county. Most laboratories will allow you to ship samples to them, if you cannot deliver the samples yourself.

Prices and services can vary from one laboratory to another, so you may want to shop around.

The laboratory can tell you how much soil they need for each sample, and what type of containers to use. You may be able to put samples in resealable plastic freezer bags, or you may need to use other containers provided by the laboratory.

Ask the laboratory if they provide a comparison of results to soil guidance values or standards.

More Information

Visit the Cornell Waste Management Institute's Soil Quality and Testing webpage to learn more about soil testing.