Soil Tests

The Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory in Blacksburg, VA, will test your soil samples for a fee. Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension agent for a free soil sample kit or call your local library to see if they have them available. For local contacts see below under “State Cooperative Extension Offices.” VCE has extensive files on soil testing, and

In Maryland, the Maryland Cooperative Extension Office no longer does the testing but has a list of private soil testers who will do it for a fee plus extensive information on soil testing on their web site.

The Washington DC Cooperative Extension Service does not conduct the test but provides a link to a lab.

State Cooperative Extension Offices

Within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture is the federal partner in the Cooperative Extension System. NIFA provides federal funding to the system. The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide, non-credit educational network. Each U.S. state and territory has a state office at its land grant university and a network of local offices. Depending on the office, you can:

  • Get your soil tested
  • Find out what is wrong with your plant
  • Get plant/pest information
  • Obtain publications on specific topics
  • Get involved in the Master Gardener Program (see “Master Gardener” tab/page at

In Virginia, the Virginia Tech University manages the Virginia Cooperative Extension program. Each county in Virginia has at least one extension agent. You can identify the county extension person by either looking in the phone book (in the government section), or contacting the state person to identify the local person, or looking at this list of counties and contacts at

In Maryland, the University of Maryland manages the Maryland Cooperative Extension, The Home and Garden Information Center is located at 12005 Homewood Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042; (410) 531-1757. A map of Maryland with counties and contacts in each county is available at

In DC, the University of the District of Columbia at Connecticut Avenue, NW, manages the Cooperative Extension Service. This program is managed by Sandra Farber Bandier, (202) 274-7166, e-mail is


Produced and written in January 2015 by Peggy Riccio,

Updated January 2018

Copyright Peggy Riccio,

2 responses to “Soil Tests

  1. thank you so much for helping me grow spinach! I was having a lot of trouble but then i found site! consider me an official peg planter!

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