KCD Soil Testing Program
King Conservation District provides basic soil tests for all residents and municipalities in our service area.* The District’s soil testing program covers commercial farms, pastures, parks, home yards, and community gardens.
Each resident in our service area is eligible for a total of five free basic soil nutrient tests for properties they either own or rent. Additional soil tests can be ordered for $20 each.
We will send your soil samples to A&L Western Laboratories in Portland, OR, to test for Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, Sulfur, Organic Matter, pH, and Cation Exchange Capacity. The laboratory will analyze your soils and provide recommendations specific to your plant needs.
King Conservation District pays only for basic nutrient tests. Additional tests for heavy metals or other soil properties are charged separately. See the Analytical Services section of the A&L Laboratories website for prices.
It’s easy to collect soil samples. See our Soil Sampling Instructions and Submittal Form for details. Read the instructions carefully and fill out the submittal form so we get complete information about your soil sample.
Either drop off soil samples at our Renton office Monday through Friday, or mail your soil samples Monday through Thursday. (It’s important that soil samples are fresh, so please don’t mail them on Friday or Saturday so they don’t sit at the Post Office for a few days.) Soil test results are generally available within two to three weeks from when we send them to the lab.
King Conservation District recommends testing soils regularly. Whether you are growing forage for livestock, gardening, maintaining an orchard or managing a woodlot for wood production, proper soil sampling will allow you to:
- Apply the correct amount of fertilizer for the plants you are growing.
- Prevent surface and ground water from being contaminated by excess fertilizers.
- Ensure that soil nutrients and other conditions (such as soil acidity) affecting plant growth are present in the right amounts.
Results of soil nutrient management can include:
- Increased plant growth, yields and quality.
- Less purchased livestock feed and fertilizer.
- Better utilization of manure on your pastures, lawns and gardens.
King Conservation District
800 SW 39th St, Suite 150
Renton, WA 98057
|Hours:||Monday — Friday
8:30 AM — 5:00 PM
*King Conservation District Service Area
Our soil testing service is available to all residents within the King Conservation District boundaries, which includes 34 cities and all of unincorporated King County. The cities of Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish are outside KCD services area boundaries, but residents of those cities can have samples processed for a fee of $20 per soil test. If you live outside of King County, send soil samples to A&L Western Labs in Portland, OR.
These links are to external websites.
Tacoma Plume Project
The plume of smoke from an old copper smelter in Tacoma polluted more than 1,000 square miles in the Puget Sound basin with arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. Washington Department of Ecology and Public Health — Seattle & King County are providing educational materials and free soil tests for lead and arsenic for residents of communities in the Tacoma Smelter Soil Safety Service Area.
Composting Resource Guide (Adobe acrobat PDF)