Soil and Water Testing Information


Soil Testing

A soil test offers a road map telling what your soil needs to produce strong healthy plants, trees, flowers, vegetables, and lawns. The basic test is for fertility of the soil and measures the amount of potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, in the soil, as well as the pH level of the soil.  The report includes research-based recommendations for the type and amount of nutrients, if needed, to adjust your soil for the optimal growth of your specific garden.

Soil test kits are available from the Philadelphia County Extension office in Center City Philadelphia.  The test kits cost $10 each and include directions for taking the sample and paperwork for the report, a sample bag and a mailer. The actual soil testing is done at the Agricultural Analytical Services lab at the main Penn State campus in University Park.

Come in to the office to pick up a kit or send a check made out to PSU and we’ll mail the kit(s) to you. 

The office is located at:

Penn State Philadelphia Center
675 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Or call 215-471-2200 Ext 0

Water Testing

To submit a drinking water or irrigation water (for greenhouses and food crops) sample to Penn State’s Agricultural Analytical Services lab, you must first obtain a free DRINKING WATER or IRRIGATION WATER test kit from the Philadelphia County Extension office.  Call 215-471-2200, ext 0 or come in to pick one up.  Fees charged for particular tests are listed in the kit and are billed directly to you.