The 2017 growing season was rather challenging, with relatively cool temperatures and slow or late maturity for many crops. Luckily we had a warm extended fall to finish the season. Fall is a good time to sample your soil to determine potential causes of any problems you experienced during the season. In late fall you can sample your soil while it is still thawed or lightly frozen and set it aside to air dry until the New Year. We offer a 20 % winter discount for samples received at the lab between January 2 and February 28.
During the fall and winter, we recommend you ask for the basic Standard Soil Test. Plant-available nitrogen (nitrate) measured during the season is much more meaningful than a measurement in spring, fall, or winter. The Comprehensive Soil Test, which includes measured nitrate, is best run on samples taken after Memorial Day. The High Tunnel Soil Test package is also available for those growers or gardeners planning on an early start to spring production in Hoop Houses or High Tunnels. In all cases we will provide recommendations to adjust soil pH, organic matter, and nutrient levels to the OPTIMUM range for plant growth and best yield, whatever your crop production system.
Soil Health is finally getting the attention it deserves. The simplest way to check the health of your soil ecosystem is with our Soil Biology Test. This add-on test determines the microbial biomass in your soil by measuring its respiration rate. Interpretation and recommendations to improve and maintain Soil Health are provided with the report.
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The MAFES Analytical Laboratory and Maine Soil Testing Service is located in Deering Hall on the University of Maine campus. (driving direction)
We are available Monday through Friday between 8 and 5. We provide analytical services at reasonable prices to the public and to researchers.
We analyze soil, plant tissue, compost, manure, irrigation water, wood ash, fertilizers, organic residuals and other materials for nutrient content, organic matter, lead and other trace elements.