soil test

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by earthandturf, Feb 4, 2001.

  1. earthandturf

    earthandturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I am starting my own lawn care business. I will be offering services such as mowing,fertilizing, pruning, weed and insect control and aeration. I would like to offer soil testing, does anyone know where I could get this done in a reasonably quick time and price? I'm in N.E. Illinois. I have recently found this site and it is the most helpful tool in the industry.
  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Well, this is what I know, and guys, if I'm wrong, let me know. I believe some of your University's in the states have a place to send soil samples to have it tested. That you would have to check on. There are certain ways for you to get the soil from the ground, they have instructions on how to do it.
    Another is the soil testing kit you can buy and do yourself. It's available from Gemplers ( they have a basic kit that is about $40. It tests for the pH level,phosphorous, nitrogen,and potassium. They also carry an advanced kit for like $300, but that might be more than you need. this is what I know. Hope it helps.
  3. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Look in the phone book under labratories. Also, you can talk to your local extension services and they can tell you where (Usually a college) to send samples and how to do so. I just learned this a week ago myself. Check around.
  4. Old Guy

    Old Guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Didn't I read somewhere on this forum that Lesco did a soil test?
  5. lee b

    lee b LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,210

    In Georgia the county extension office will tast soil samples for free, there's also some independant labs that charge about $12.00 a sample.
  6. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,671

    Lesco does them and so will your local county extension.
  7. earthandturf

    earthandturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Thanks guys, I've got a Lesco dealer nearby, I'll check with him. I,ll also call my county extension.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Kelway sells a soil tester that costs around $90

    Hope this helps.
  9. earthandturf

    earthandturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Actually, doing it myself sounds even better. Do you find that soil testing helps market your services as well as being helpful in setting up fert programs?
  10. Garry

    Garry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Consider soil testing to be THE most important aspect of proper lawncare. How is it at all possible, to design a nutrition program for plants, when you don't even know the Ph of the soil they're growing in? Todays soil test kits are so easy to use. They are a integral part of the complete landscape picture. A firm understanding of the soil and it's chemistry will only produce positive plant response.

    Go to, they have a excellent website, with a good selection of diffrent kits. I personally use their Delux Turf, Humas, and Organic matter kits with great results. No pre-packaged program can ever beat a program designed from soil test results.

    The *indepth* professional soil tests are nice. But six weeks after you took the sample, the results finally show up in your mail box informing you things like your cation exchange capacity being low or soil texture/sandy-loam. Meanwhile, alot of time has passed while the plants suffer. Learning to use the kits, will only make you a more complete and informed specialist.

    G. William Lamar

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