452-125 (SPES-322NP)

Authors as Published

Reviewed by Steve Heckendorn, laboratory manager, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Please write legibly or download form and type information before printing. (Form expires January 2026)

Use another form for commercial crop production. Not for growth media containing greater than 50% organic matter. See other side for sampling instructions. Processing will be delayed if soil is not received in the lab's sample container. For a recommendation, be sure to fill in a plant code number. Each sample must have its own form. For more information, go to or contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office.

Your Name: _________________________________ Phone:_______________________

E-mail (results sent by email only*): _______________________________________
*Adding to your email contact list may help ensure delivery. Also check spam folder.

Mailing Address (results not mailed): _____________________________________

City: ____________________________________   ZIP Code: _______________________

County Where Soil is Located (required): _______________________________

Copy Report To (Consultant, etc.): ________________________________________

Their E-mail: _______________________________________________________________

Date sampled:


Office Use only

Unit Code:


Your Sample Box Number or Name (Up to 5 digits)
                 ______    ______    ______    ______    ______
Insert Plant Code # from list below
                 ______    ______    ______
Last Lime Application
Months Previous Pounds per 1,000 sq. ft

0 – 6

7 – 12

13 – 18



10 – 50

51 – 100

101 – 150



Lawn: Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, or Ryegrass                                                                          
201 Establishing New Lawn
202 Maintaining Lawn, Repair of Bare Spots

Lawn: Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, or St. Agustine                                                                          
203 Establishing New Lawn
204 Maintaining Lawn, Repair of Bare Spots

210 Vegatable Garden
211 Flower Garden
212 Roses

Acid-Loving Shrubs                                                 
240 Azaleas
241 Andromedas
242 Camellias
243 Laurel
244 Rhododendron

Non-Acid-Loving Shrubs and Trees                         
245 Shrubs - Lilac, Forsythia, Boxwood, etc.
246 Trees - Pine, Maple, Oak, etc.

220 Apples
221 Blackberries
222 Blueberries
223 Currants
224 Gooseberries
225 Grapes
226 Nectarines
227 Peaches
228 Pears
229 Plums
230 Quince
231 Raspberries
232 Sour Cherry
233 Strawberries
234 Sweet Cherries

House Plants                                                               
250 Potted House Plants

Routine (soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, B, and estimated CEC)
Organic Matter – Determines percentage in soil – no recommendation given
Soluble Salts – Determines if fertilizer salts are too high







Make check or money order payable to "Treasurer, Virginia Tech". Do not send cash by mail. Please send this form along with payment, together with corresponding samples in the same sturdy shipping container to: Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab, 145 Smyth Hall (MC 0465), 185 Ag Quad Ln, Blacksburg VA 24061.


For test results to be meaningful, use extreme care when taking soil samples. Each sample represents many tons of soil in your lawn or garden. Test results cannot be any more accurate than the sample submitted to the laboratory. Do not take samples when the soil is extremely wet.

Sampling Instructions:

Divide your lawn or garden into sampling areas. Each area should be uniform in the kind of soil and in the past fertilizer and lime treatments it has received. An example would be separate samples (areas) for front and back lawns. For shrubs and trees, select an area from the trunk to the outer edges of the branches. Take a separate sample from each area as shown in the diagram below.

Use the following procedure for each sampling area:

A – Take samples with a trowel, shovel, spade, or auger. Make a vertical cut 4" deep for lawns, or to plowing depth for gardens, and push the soil aside. Then cut a thin slice from the side of the opening that is of uniform thickness, approximately 2" in width, and extending from the top of the ground to the depth of the cut. Scrape away or discard any surface mat of grass or litter and place the slice of soil into a clean bucket or other container. Follow this sampling procedure in 10 or more different locations within each sampling area, each time placing the resulting soil in the same container, giving you a composite sample.

B – Thoroughly mix the soil from the composite sample and then fill the sample box to the top with the mixture. Fill in the information requested on the side of the sample box, including sample number, complete the other side of this sheet, and send sample, sheet, and payment directly to the Soil Testing Laboratory.

For additional sampling instructions go to

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

Publication Date

May 25, 2021