Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District offering FREE soil tests through the Jefferson County Extension

Although fertilizer, lime, and other amendments can be very helpful in establishing happy, healthy plants and lawns, they pose a risk if not used properly. Excess fertilizer and chemicals wash away with rainwater and pollute our local streams and waterways. The first guideline of responsible fertilizer application is to take a soil sample and have it analyzed to determine fertilizer needs. The Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is offering a soils test incentive program to offset the cost for Louisville Metro residents. The SWCD will provide up to 2 vouchers per household to cover the processing fee for a standard soils test. People wishing to participate in this incentive program must request the soils test voucher(s) from the Conservation District office. Email your voucher request to:joy.edwards@ky.nacdnet.net The email should include your name, physical address, phone number and if you want one or two vouchers. The soil vouchers along with your soil sample should be taken to the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service at 200 Juneau Drive, Suite 400 for testing. Call 499-1900 if you have any questions.

Soil Samples

We need 2 cups of dry soil. This can be brought to our office in any clean container. Soil tests are typically $7.00, but are now free (up to 2 per household) through the Soil and Water Conservation District, see above for information on requesting a voucher. 

Taking a soil sample

Click here for soil sampling best practices

You will want a representative, random sample from the area you are interested in testing. Sample gardens, lawns, and landscaped areas separately. Collect cores randomly from each area. The area to sample for trees includes the soil below the width of the tree. For shrubs, flower beds, and gardens, sample just the soil where the plants are growing. You should sample problem areas and areas with shrubs, trees, or flower beds separately from other turf or lawn areas. Do not sample:

  • compost areas,
  • under the drip-line of trees, and
  • close to driveways or streets.

Call us if you have questions.