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Old 10-29-2009, 02:12 PM
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 3,123,284 times
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At the two acres we just rented, I want to do a soil test on the proposed garden plot for use next spring. I'm especially concerned about testing for soil toxins possibly deposited from a steam plant a few miles away.

Is it best to contact my local county Extension Service to do this, or contract with a private lab? Has anyone had this done and been satisfied with the results?

I am in Thurston County in Washington State. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:21 PM
Location: NC, USA
7,084 posts, read 14,300,944 times
Reputation: 4018
Any Feed store will sell soil testing kits, as will most hardware stores that also have a lawn and garden section.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:12 PM
Location: oregon
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Call your local Ag office and the master gardener desk and they can tell you who to contact and they will be able to answer your concerns over contamination..
I live down from you in the Willamette Valley..
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:04 PM
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You could do it yourself by buying a pH checker. You could also have someone come do it (local ag office).

Depending on your results, you can add certain things to fix whatever problems your soil may have.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:38 PM
Location: somewhere close to Tampa, but closer to the beach
2,031 posts, read 4,880,423 times
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Mamh has the right idea...

While conducting a basic test with any of the readily available PH testing kits will give you a basic idea of the degree of how Acid or Alkaline the soil in your location may be...Only a broader analysis done by the Ag dept. or a private soil testing company will be able to uncover any additional info.. Which would be especially important if you are looking to raise food crops..

The only drawback can be cost...but, i myself would pay a little more to know that i won't be ingesting harmful degrees of remnant chemicals...

Years ago, i was surprised to learn that the neighborhood i lived in had higher levels of Mercury due to its proximity to a watercourse which drained out of an area where heavy mercury extraction was done decades earlier...

Now, while the levels cited were still considered safe, it was advised not to consume things like the Blackberries growing along the nearby creek in large amounts for extended periods of time..Apparently, they absorb the Methyl type of Mercury present in the water.. This form also is easily transported via dust as well..so it also was good to know since we lived next to a busy road and the local water dept. stored project material in the flood plain across the street..
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