Q. What is the turnaround time for soil testing?
A. Turnaround time is dependent on volume of mail received. In general, soil test results will be sent out 3-5 business days after receipt of samples. The exception to this is during our spring rush (mid-March through June). During this period, we do our best to keep the turnaround time of soil testing within two weeks.
Other testing, such as compost and plant tissue testing typically takes two weeks to complete, with somewhat longer turnaround times during spring rush.
Q. When is the best time to test my soil?
A. Soil testing can be done at any time, but it is best to test as early as possible, especially when pH adjustment is necessary prior to planting. Consider testing at the end of the growing season (late October through November). This gives the grower time to plan for the spring and avoids the spring rush here at the lab. Soil characteristics will not change significantly over the cold winter months.
Q. Can I drop off a sample at the lab?
A. We receive most soil samples through the US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx, but you are welcome to drop samples off at the lab. We are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Q. Who do I make my check out to?
A. University of Massachusetts
Q. On the order form, there is a line for “Sample ID.” What is that?
A. The Sample ID is merely whatever you want to call your sample. If you are sending more than one sample, it enables you to tell one sample from another.
Q. I am concerned about contaminants in my soil. Can you help me?
A. Our Routine Analysis includes a lead screening that estimates total soil lead levels ($10 per sample). The UMass Soil Testing Lab is a nutrient lab and does not test soil for other contaminants such as hydrocarbons, PCBs, pesticides, Arsenic or Mercury.
Q. Can I pay for my soil test by Credit Card?
A. We’re sorry but we cannot accept credit cards at this time. We accept checks or cash (when hand-delivering) only.