Services for Home Lawn & Garden Care

Soil Testing

Benefits of Soil Testing

Soil testing is a service provided for the residents of South Carolina to determine plant nutrient availability and the pH value (acidity or alkalinity) of the soil for lawns, flowers, shrubs, and vegetable gardens.  The soil test report will recommend nutrients necessary to obtain optimum soil fertility and help guard against waste and harmful nutrient imbalances associated with over-fertilization.  The report will also indicate if lime is required to avoid problems resulting from excessive soil acidity.

Sampling Information

Instructions for taking and submitting soil samples for analysis by the Agricultural Service Laboratory are found on the soil bag.  Record Sheets are available on line at or at your county Cooperative Extension office.  Proper sampling is important to ensure representative soil test results and proper fertilizer recommendations.  We recommend annual soil testing.

Results and Recommendations

Upon completion of the analysis, a report with the pH value, plant nutrient levels, and fertilizer and lime recommendations will be returned to you by mail or email. Recommendations will be made for the plant(s) listed on the Record Sheet and will include comments on cultural practices or other specific recommendations for the plant(s) to be grown.  If you have any questions regarding the results or recommendations, contact the Home and Garden Information Center at 1-888-656-9988 or your local county Extension agent.


Irrigation Water Analysis

Benefits of Irrigation Water Analysis  

Irrigation water can be tested where a problem with high salt content is suspected.  Persons who would also like to check the plant nutrient content of their water or pinpoint a specific element that may be causing a plant toxicity problem due to excessive levels can also benefit from an irrigation water analysis.  This service is not intended for assessing water for drinking purposes. The Home and Garden Information Center or the county Extension office will provide you with sampling guidelines and assistance for interpretation of results.