When Floridians write to the Solutions for Your Life e-mail box, one of the most common questions they ask is how do I test my soil through UF/IFAS? The answer: soil testing for Florida homeowners is available through the UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL).
Two Tests Are Available for Homeowners
- Soil pH and Lime Requirement Test: This test tells you the pH of you soil. Soil pH reflects how acidic or alkaline the soil is. pH conditions can affect how plants absorb nutrients from the soil. pH also affects microbial activity in the soil.1 Based on the test results and what you are trying to grow, the lab may recommend a lime application to adjust your soil’s pH.2
- Soil pH, Lime Requirement, and Macronutrient Test: In addition to testing soil pH and providing liming recommendations, this test determines the macronutrients in the soil, specifically phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). You can use this macronutrient information to better meet the fertilization needs of the plants you are trying to grow.2
Ready to Test Your Soil?
- Read about how to take a soil sample in Soil Sampling and Testing for the Home Landscape or Vegetable Garden.
- Download and fill out the Landscape and Vegetable Garden Test Form that accompanies your sample.
- Rao Mylavarapu and Christine Wiese, Soil pH and the Home Landscape or Garden, SL256, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2016, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss480
- Rao S. Mylavarapu, William d’Angelo, Nancy Wilkinson, and David Moon, UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) Analytical Procedures and Training Manual, CIR1248, Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2014, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss312