Soil and Water Testing

— Written By Melena Dillingham
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Happy Spring! As gardening gets into full force, we have received several questions about soil testing, and what information you, as a homeowner, can gather from your current soil to cultivate the most beautiful blooms or the tastiest tomatoes.

Soil testing accurately provides a soil’s composition so as to allow for the best amendment recommendations.

Soil Testing

The N.C. Department of Agriculture offers soil testing year-round, and free of charge from April 1st to November 30th (a $4.00 per sample fee is assessed during “Peak Season’, from December 1stto March 31st).

Pick up a box and instructions for submission from your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office. Mail your samples to Raleigh, and the results will be mailed to you, generally within a few weeks. Both the NCDA and N.C. Cooperative Extension have publications that can help you read your results and make the best decisions for soil amendments.

For more information about soil tests and resources, visit our Soil Testing Kits page.

Heavy Metal Testing

To have your soil tested for heavy metals, you will need to contact a private laboratory.

While not an exhaustive list, Pace Analytical in Asheville, NC and Waters Agricultural Laboratory in Warsaw, NC both provide heavy metal testing.

Pace Analytical – 828.254.7176

Waters Agricultural Laboratory – 910.293.2108

A hand holds a test tube filled with a clear liquid outside in front of a group of trees.

Well Testing

Buncombe County Environmental Health Services – 828.250.5016

Water Testing

Private laboratories such as Pace Analytical and Waters Agricultural Laboratory offer water testing services for water sources other than wells.

If you have any questions about your garden, or services available to you, feel free to call our offices at 828.255.5522.