Submit your soil, compost, or compost tea sample for a microscope assessment of beneficial and detrimental microorganisms. The assessment will include actinobacteria, amoebae, bacteria, ciliates, flagellates, fungi, oomycetes, and nematodes (bacterial-feeding, fungal-feeding, predatory, and root-feeding). For each sample, you will receive a report with population or biomass estimates of each organism group listed above, along with the fungi-to-bacteria ratio. Comments and pictures will be included as needed to communicate specific concerns.
1. Collect samples:
For soil, identify areas of interest (for example, zones in a field or lawn that are unproductive or highly productive). In each area of interest, randomly collect at least 5 sub-samples using an apple corer, soil probe, or shovel. Sub-samples should be collected 3 inches deep after removing vegetation from the soil surface. Mix sub-samples thoroughly in a clean container.
For compost, randomly collect at least 5 sub-samples from your compost pile or windrow and mix them thoroughly in a clean container.
For compost tea or extract, randomly collect sub-samples from the center of your container (e.g. your compost tea brewer) and mix them in a clean container.
2. Package samples:
For soil or compost, put 1 cup of each sample into a clean resealable plastic bag. Leave some air-space in the bag. Use permanent marker to label the bag with your name, the date the sample was collected, the intended crop - if applicable (e.g. corn, figs, lawn, pasture), and a name or location to identify the sample (e.g. "northeast garden").
For compost tea or extract, pour 1 cup of each sample into a clean container, which should only be one-third full. Place the sealed container in a resealable plastic bag. Use permanent marker to label the bag with your name, the date the sample was collected, and a name or location to identify the sample.
3. Submit samples:
Submit your sample(s), your email address and phone number, and a check for $80 per sample to:
47 Sharon Road, Enola, PA 17025
Send soil or compost samples using 2-day shipping or faster.
Send compost tea or extract using overnight shipping.