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Douglas County

K-State Research and Extension Douglas County 
2110 Harper Street
Lawrence KS 66046

Hours: 8 am - 5 pm
Monday - Friday



Bus Routes to Our Office

Bus Route Options: Route 1 & 5

We stand for the fair and equitable treatment of all people. Read more...

Public Statement of Equity and Justice (pdf)

Extension Strategic Plan

Our 2023-2025 Strategic Plan for making K-State Research & Extension Douglas County grow and thrive with and for the community is here! Click below to learn more!

2023 - 2025 Strategic Plan of K-State Research & Extension Douglas County

Soil Tests

A soil test provides information on the basic fertility of soil. It is the starting point for determining how much and which fertilizers to use on a crop. Without a soil test, everyone is really just guessing at what the soil fertility level really is.

We offer Soil Tests for our Producers and Homeowners! It is very important to use Soil Test Forms only from this page as forms from years prior have changed/expired! Please see below for the most up-to-date forms! Failure to use the most accurate forms may cause issues or delays with getting your test results! Thank you! 

Agriculture ProducersHome OwnersSoil Test Grant Information


Please note, soil tests cannot test for poisons in your soil!

We ship Soil Samples to our Manhattan office from our Douglas County Office every Monday  & Wednesday morning if they arrive BEFORE 10:00 am. If they arrive after, they will be shipped the following Monday/Wednesday! According to the official Soil Testing Lab, test take 2 - 3 weeks to be returned.

Depending on your test, you will receive results from either our Agriculture Agent, Margit Kaltenekker | mkaltenekker@ksu.edu or our Horticulture & Natural Resources Agent, Sharon Ashworth | sashworth@ksu.edu. Any questions about your result can go through them! 

Helpful Docs

Estimating Soil Texture - PDF | Tall Fescue Lawn Help -PDF
Soil Test Interpretations and Fertilizer Recommendations in Kansas

Soil Test Price List
*See Grant Information Below*
Please note that our test prices differ from the K-State's Soil Test prices because we include shipping costs.
Completed forms are required to submit a Soil Sample.

Agriculture Producers

How to Collect Soil Samples
    1. Decide if your field can be treated as one sample or needs to be broken down into separate smaller samples. If you believe the soil type, previous crop and fertilizer treatments are consistent across the field, treat it as one sample. If soil type and topography change across the field, different crops have been planted on different parts of the field, or there are problem spots, break the field down into smaller units to sample.
    2. Using a soil probe, dig vertically to a depth of 4 inches for established fields such as brome, alfalfa or a no-till field. Fields that are worked up should have samples taken from 6 inches. Avoid sampling in old fence rows, dead furrows, low spots, feeding areas, and other areas that might give unusual results. If information is desired on these unusual areas, obtain a separate sample from the area. 
    3. Take at least 10 – 15 samples from the field and mix the samples together in a clean container to create a representative sample. The more sub samples you take, the more assured you'll be that soil test results are representative of your field. Bring approximately two cups of the mixed soil to the Douglas County Extension Office in a paper bag.
    4. Samples should be dry. You can let samples air dry, but do not use heat to dry your samples.

Producers/Farmers Soil Test Information Sheet [Print PDF]

No printer? No problem! We have copies at our office! 

More details & available tests for producers. 

Home Owners 

Proper collection of a representative soil sample is important for accurate analysis and test results. Follow these steps to obtain a good sample.

You Will Need:

  • Clean plastic bucket
  • Soil probe, trowel, or shovel
  • Container for the soil sample: sturdy plastic bag, plastic container of any kind with a lid, metal container (e.g. coffee can) if not testing for metals.

Step 1

Identify uniform areas to be tested. For example, separate soil tests should be done on different garden beds or a garden and a lawn, or between the front lawn and back lawn if there are noticeable differences. Avoid sampling areas that might give misleading results. If information is desired on these unusual areas, obtain a separate sample for these areas. Avoid areas that have recently been fertilized.

Step 2

From each area, take enough samples to properly represent the area – 4 to 5 cores or slices are adequate for the average garden or lawn. Collect a vertical sample starting at the surface of the soil and digging 3 inches deep for lawns, 6 inches deep for flower/vegetable gardens, and 10-12 inches for trees and shrubs. Remove all plants, sod, or thatch from the sample.

Samples should be dry. If wet, air dry. Do not use heat to dry samples.

Step 3

Thoroughly mix all the samples from one area in the bucket. Bring two cups of that mixed soil to your local Extension Office in a resealable plastic bag or another plastic container. Samples may also be brought or shipped directly to the KSU Soil Testing Lab.

Step 4

At the Extension office you will fill out the Soil Information Sheet with your contact information, the source of your sample (lawn or garden type), and the soil analysis requested. If you prefer to fill out the Soil Information Sheet online, that is also available further down on this page. A price sheet is also available for other types of Soil Tests. Keep in mind that we charge a shipping fee that the prices on the "Farmer & Gardener Price List"  sheet do not include. (Cash, check or credit card is accepted. Make checks payable to Douglas County Extension Council.)

Flowers and Ornamental Soil Information Sheet [Print PDF]

Vegetables, Fruits, and Nuts Soil Information Sheet [Print PDF]

Lawn and Turf Soil Information Sheet [Print PDF]

More Test Details Here 

Douglas County Soil Conservation District Grant

Thanks to our friends over at the Douglas County Conservation District, we are able to provide some of our Soil Test Packages for free to Douglas County residents.

Please note that Agriculture Producers can have up to 5 Soil Tests covered by the grant a year. Homeowners can have up to 2 Soil Tests covered by the grant a year. 

The packages that are covered by the grant are:

Package 1 | Package 2 | Package 3 | Gardener's Package

Anything outside of the above options must be paid for out of pocket. Please refer to the Soil Test Price List for all current prices. Please note prices may differ from the main Soil Test's lab forms. We include our shipping prices in the provided list. Please do NOT use forms found outside this page as they may cause delay or errors with your submitted soil samples! 

We do have limited Soil Test Equipment for gathering your samples to sign out. If they are already signed out, please note that the Douglas County Conservation District also has Soil Test Equipment you can sign out as well!