St. Louis

Natural Resources

Soil testing

Hands holding a plant seedling in rich soil

Our soil testing flyer (PDF) will explain how to take the sample and where to take it for processing.

We offer three convenient locations in the St Louis Area to bring your samples to have them tested by our lab.

soil sample

When preparing your samples please keep in mind:

  1. Please DRY your sample before submitting! Leave soil sit out overnight on a tray with newspaper or other paper source. 
    If your sample is too wet when brought into the office, it will go through the drying process before being packaged for shipment.
  2. Pull samples from various areas of your lawn or garden, even if they are tilled. One big sample from just one area of the yard/garden, will not give you accurate results.
  3. Submit at least 1-1/2 to 2 cups of soil. Usually a sandwich bag or quart size storage bag filled, will suffice.
  4. It takes 10-14 business days for results to be returned. If the soil is wet, add a few extra days.
  5. Also, please keep in mind that the lab is extremely busy during the months of February, March, April, May and June.

Soil sample instructional video

Watch Nathan Brandt demonstrate the proper way to collect a soil sample.

Did you have your soil tested?
How to determine what your lawn needs from your results. Get the "Soil Testing for Lawns" publication here.

Sample locations are below.

MU Extension,
St Louis County (Kirkwood)

132 E. Monroe Ave
Kirkwood, MO 63122
M-F 8:30-4:30  

Brightside St. Louis
4646 Shenandoah Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
M-F 9:00-4:00

Gateway Greening
2211 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103
M-Th 8:00-3:30

Please note: Brightside and Gateway Greening only accept samples for Lawns or Home Gardens. Commercially grown or Field Crop samples should be taken to the Extension Center in Kirkwood.

Not in the St Louis Metropolitan area? Every county has a local extension to take your samples to. To find your local office, click here.

Chinch bugs in zoysia lawns

It is not uncommon to come across 30+ year-old zoysia lawns in St. Louis. They are resilient and require comparatively little care. That’s why many homeowners are caught off guard by large areas that rapidly turn brown and die out in a matter of weeks. It is unclear why lawns without a history of chinch bug damage suddenly become infested. Read the article from Nathan Brandt!

Lead in urban soils

Nathan Brandt discusses the importance of testing for lead in urban gardens.

MU Extension St. Louis County: Lead in Urban Soils from MU Extension St. Louis on Vimeo


Watch Nathan Brandt address the issue of fireblight in the metro area.

MU Extension St. Louis County: Fireblight from MU Extension St. Louis on Vimeo.