(Be prepared to follow Covid-19 guidelines)

We now offer soil testing year round!

A drop-off box is located outside our office at 474 Bucksport Rd, Ellsworth. You may drop off samples at any time or call first to arrange a time.

The turn around time to receive your results

is generally within a week.

Our office is located with the USDA NRCS at 474 Bucksport Rd., Ellsworth, ME 04605
 (Route 1); 667-8663 or 812-9710.
The free soil pH testing program for Hancock County residents provided in collaboration with HCSWCD and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
A volunteer from HCSWCD will be doing the testing.

Why Test Soils?

The pH of soil is a measure of relative acidity-alkalinity. Values below 7 are acidic and above 7 are alkaline. Soils in Hancock County tend to be acidic and often can be too acidic for the flower and vegetable garden plants that we want to grow. Soil pH also has a strong influence on amounts and kinds of nutrients available for plant roots. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service provides more extensive soil testing for a small fee.

 How Do I Collect Soils for Testing?

Using a clean trowel, collect soil from the root zone (0-8 inches deep) in your garden or field.  In wooded areas discard the leaf litter on top and collect soil 0-8 inches deep in a clean container. Mix well to homogenize the material to be tested. Generally, for a garden or field take samples from several different area (5 to 6 same-sized samples so you can mix for a representative sample). Put your final result (1 cup) in a zip lock bag with your name, contact info, and the number and location of samples.

What do the Test Results Mean?

Compare your results to the tables (available at testing site) for the plants you want to grow. If you feel that you need to treat your soil, contact NCRS or Cooperative Extension for further tests and recommendations on soil amendments.  Consider submitting a soil sample to the Cooperative Extension Lab for more detailed analysis.