If you’re not testing, you’re guessing!

Whether you’re growing a garden, lawn, pasture, orchard, or row crops, soil testing is the best way to determine the right rate, timing, placement, and source of amendments for your particular crop and site conditions. Thurston Conservation District assists in analyzing and providing recommendations based on your soil and nutrient test results. To submit a soil sample to the Thurston Conservation District, follow the instructions below.

You can expect:

  • A soil analysis report from A&L Western Laboratories, which tells you the levels of each nutrient in your soil. Example A&L Report.
  • A write-up from Thurston Conservation District interpreting your results which will help you see whether each nutrient is high or low and what the optimal ranges are for each nutrient. Example TCD Soil Report.
  • Recommendations from Thurston Conservation District for how to amend your soil. These recommendations include what to apply, how much, and when based on the crop you are growing and general recommendations for our area (organic or conventional, based on preference).

Our recommendations follow land grant university guidelines and research that has been done for specific crop needs.

Available Test Types

Basic Soil Test: $25.00

A Basic Soil Test is recommended if you have a garden, pasture, hay field, lawn, or are establishing a new annual crop. This test includes:

  • Organic Matter
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • pH and buffer pH
  • Sulfur

Comprehensive Soil Test: $48.00

A Comprehensive Soil Test is recommended is you are establishing a new perennial crop, like an orchard, or if you want to correct soil deficiencies for better crop yield and performance. These nutrients are important for many specialty crops. This test includes:

  • Organic Matter
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • pH and buffer pH
  • Sulfur
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Boron
  • Sodium

Post-construction Permit Soil Test: $25.00

A Post-construction Permit Test is recommended if you need to know your organic matter content and cation exchange capacity (C.E.C) for a final permit approval with Thurston County. This test is similar to the basic soil test but does not include nitrogen.

Additional Available Tests:

  • Plant Nutrient Analysis
  • Manure Analysis
  • Compost Analysis
  • Hay and Feed Analysis
  • Selenium Content
  • Manure Lagoon Water Analysis

If you are unsure of what test to choose, contact Leah Kellogg at tcdadmin@thurstoncd.com or 360-754-3588 ext.100

Soil Sample Submission Instructions

  1. Take a soil sample following our Soil Sampling Procedures handout.
  2. Place at least 4 cups (1 quart) of soil in a Ziploc bag and label with:
  • Full name
  • Five lettered unique sample ID
  • Phone number
  1. Place your soil sample in the freezer and keep chilled until ready for drop-off.
  2. Select the test type that is right for you — See options above.
  3. Fill out the online soil sample submission form (below). If you are submitting more than one sample, you’ll fill it out for each sample.
  4. Drop your soil sample off  on weekdays (Monday-Friday) in the blue cooler outside the Thurston Conservation District office (2918 Ferguson St. SW, Ste A Tumwater, WA 98512). Please note: Samples submitted during the weekend could reach high temperatures in the cooler, which may skew results. We are pausing weekend soil sample submissions until we can ensure samples can be kept sufficiently cool.
  5. If you have not already done so, use the labels found inside the cooler to add your name, sample ID, and phone number to each soil sample. Make sure the ID on your sample matches the ID on your online form. Note: each soil sample should have a unique sample ID.
  6. Once your sample has been processed, you will receive an email with payment invoicing. Please note, this may be up to a week after you have dropped off your sample and payment must be made in order to receive results.

We’ve received unprecedentedly high interest in our soil testing services this year, due to this high volume, soil analysis reports may take up to three weeks to generate at this time. 

Interested in learning more about Soil & Nutrient Testing?

Leah Kellogg
Administrative Assistant
360-754-3588, ext. 100

You can also use our contact form.