Submitting Compost Samples for Analysis

Obtaining a representative sample is critical for getting a good estimate of nutrient value.

The sample submitted must be representative of the compost to be used if the analysis is to be of value.  The number of sub-samples will depend on the size of the pile, but in general, take 1-pint sub-sample sizes from at least 5 places around the pile.  At each place, sample 3 different depths.  Take one at the surface, take the second midway between the surface and the core, and take the third at the core.  Mix all of these sub-samples thoroughly in a clean 5 gallon plastic bucket.  For your sample, fill the sample bag with 1 pint of this mixture.  If bulk density is required, 2 quarts of this mixture must be submitted.  Label sample bag with sample ID.

For submitting samples to our lab, bags are available at your local Extension office or use a quart sized plastic bag.