Several years ago, the Cook County Farm Bureau developed a soil testing program to fill a need of area gardeners and homeowners. We were frequently receiving phone calls from these individuals asking for "places" that conduct soil tests. After struggling to answer this question, we decided that this was an area that we needed to fill as an organization. We identified the key components of the soil testing service that people want: Easy to use, provides quality, accurate information on key results for plant growth, and helps the individual implement a soil improvement strategy following testing.
Soil, in its natural state, may not be best suited to proper growth of each type of plant. Many times, it is necessary to supplement the earth’s store of plant nutrients before the best vegetables, fruits, lawns, flowers, shrub and tees can be enjoyed.For each plant species, there are "best" growing conditions can be met by identifying the soil’s strengths and weakness in the soil health areas of ph, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and organic matter. The CCFB Soil Test Kit is designed to identify the soils’ basic plant nutritional levels in a convenient manner.
- Directions on how to collect a sample
- A soil bag for accurate soil quantity for testing
- A paid UPS shipping label with a shipping box to send the soil bag to the lab for laboratory testing
- 2 soil sample information sheets to help the lab and our master gardener advisors interpret the results and help the homeowner accomplish his/her planting goals with postage paid envelopes.
The results sent to the homeowner will contain the various tested "numbers" for the soil with recommendation from the lab to improve the soils nutrient levels for your planting plans. However, we know that it is sometimes nice to talk to an expert about the results, steps to take, and to have someone answer questions on soil improvement. The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners are available to answer questions on specific issues related to the soil test. We will forward your test results to the Master Gardeners program if you wish to use this outstanding resource.
Click here for a Soil Testing Informational Brochure.
Soil testing pricing is based on the soil sample test lab charges, shipping and postage. Our current rate is:
1 soil sample $20 $30
2 soil samples $30 $40
3 soil samples $45 $55
Lead testing ONLY $37 $42
Lead testing PLUS soil test $45 $50
Prices subject to change without notice. For more information, contact the Cook County Farm Bureau Member Service Center at 708-354-3276.