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Testing My Soil


January 13, 2022

I was on the NMSU site today and saw that soil test kits are available free at the Bernalillo County Extension Office, 1510 Menaul Blvd Ext NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107. I would be interested in picking some up and I understand that I have to mail them to have the soil analyzed. My question is how many will I need? I have two separate raised garden beds about 8’ x 3’ each with drip lines. The top of the beds reach about 3’ high.  I use them for vegetable gardening. I originally had them filled with organic soil (in 2017) and I enrich with compost and fertilizer. I also have three raised flower garden beds. They are quite large (put in by prior owner) – each is probably twice as big as one of my vegetable garden beds. However, the soil in them seems really rocky and hard to dig into. An a lot of the flowers have not been sustained. I am contemplating using part of each for certain vegetables, if the soil is OK. With that information, how many test kits would I need? Could I pick them up next week, if they are available? Thank you.


Answer by JZ: You may call the Bernco. Extension Office to be sure that they are open before going for a test kit(s) 505.243.1386. Soil samples are sent to the Colorado State soil test lab. Each test kit is free, the cost for each test is about $35.00.   You may find this webpage full of useful information:  Soil Matters under Composting Info in our website main menu.

Consider a combined soil sample from your 2 raised veg. beds. - in one container. You could also combine a sample from the 3 flowers beds. - in one container. That would be 2 containers.

You might also speak to a master gardener or one of the Ag. Agents who may be in the office when you get there. Hope that this is helpful.

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