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Why Test Your Home Lawn and Garden Soil?

Lawn and garden plants require 18 nutrients for healthy growth and productivity. The soil is a reservoir of these nutrients. Plants utilize these nutrients but they need to be replenished from time to time. By having your soil tested you can learn which nutrients are present and which ones need to be added depending on the plant(s) you are trying to grow. You can avoid over-application of fertilizers which can waste money, reduce plant quality and pollute streams, lakes and groundwater. Based on your soil test results, you will receive a custom fertilization program to meet the needs of your plants and safeguard the environment.

What soil test results/fertilizer information will you receive?

  • Soil texture
  • pH value
  • Nutrient levels for phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg)
  • Soil organic matter (OM) percentage
  • Personalized recommendations for fertilizer and any needed pH modifications
  • Contact the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab if you would like additional tests:

Note:  Purchase of this product (the Soil Test Kit Self-Mailer) does not include testing for soil contaminants (e.g. lead, arsenic, pesticides) or water contaminants (e.g. harmful bacteria).  For more information about these tests, please contact the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab via email ( or phone (517-355-0218).