Soil Testing Service

URI Master Gardener volunteers conduct free soil pH testing as a service to the residents of Rhode Island and surrounding areas until October 31 annually. The test helps determine soil pH levels and predominant soil texture, and provides basic information and recommendations for gradual correction of soil pH and compaction issues.

If you plan to mail your soil sample to us, please fill out the Soil Test Report Form, print it and include with your sample in an envelope addressed to URI Cooperative Extension, 3 East Alumni Ave, Kingston, RI 02881. Please include ‘Attn: Soil Test’ on the envelope. Questions? Call 401-874-2900.

If you would like to request Soil Testing and/or Kiosk at your event, please fill out the form available HERE.

Click for 2023 Soil Testing and Kiosk Events

Soil Nutrient Analysis

Complete soil analysis is available through the University of Connecticut Soil Lab and the University of Massachusetts Soil & Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory for a nominal fee. It is suggested to test soil every few years, and is particularly important when installing new garden beds or in established gardens that are not performing well.  These tests determine:

  1. Nutrient levels and fertilizer recommendations;
  2. Elevated lead levels or other toxic heavy metals; and
  3. Proper soil amendments to avoid pollution of local waterways.

Sampling Instructions

Use a spade to collect a thin slice of soil from the root zone, about 6 inches down. Take about 1⁄2 cup from each of several spots in the same area (for example, the lawn or the vegetable garden) and mix them together. Allow the soil to air dry on newspapers, please make sure the soil is dry before having it tested. Put about 1 cup of the mixed soil into a clean plastic or paper bag and label it with the area it came from.

  • Bring it in for a FREE test! Trained URI Master Gardener volunteers will test your soil’s pH, evaluate its texture and give you a report with recommendations for actions to improve it.