Soil Testing For
The California Landscape Industry

Soil sampling is one of the simplest and most valuable land management tools available to today’s landscape designers, contractors and homeowners

For landscape architects, laboratory testing provides invaluable insight into the current conditions of your client’s soil and water before time and money is spent to put in a landscape.  A soil and water report will add professionalism to your work and data to support and inform your decisions. It may also help develop information to create a more suitable plant palate for the site and show that you regard the client’s situation as unique.

A soil report can be a valuable tool for both you and your client and in an increasing number of situations, a required step in the permitting process. Our Horticultural Appraisal package is WELO compliant and gives a full physical and chemical analysis of the soil where your landscape will be grown. For new landscapes, the report gives pre-plant recommendations of common fertilizer amendments in pounds, ounces, or cubic yards per 1000 square feet.

Reports are straight-forward and easy-to-understand. Clients can choose organic or conventional amendments.  We provide concise easy-to-read amendment recommendations in both hardcopy and electronic formats as requested, making it easy to transfer information directly onto drawings and specs. It may also help develop information to create a more suitable plant palate for the particular site.

"A soil and water report can be valuable tool to document the history of the owner’s landscape. It shows that you regard the client’s situation as unique" - Cliff Low, Owner of Perry laboratory

Apply modern soil science
testing techniques

Our Horticultural Appraisal Package gives a full physical and chemical analysis of the soil where your landscape will be grown. For new landscapes, the report gives pre-plant recommendations of common fertilizer amendments in lbs, ounces, or cubic yards per 1000 square feet. Reports are straight-forward and easy-to-understand.

Laboratory testing is an invaluable tool for diagnosing problems in the landscape. Problems may be caused by low or high fertility, unavailable nutrients, poor quality irrigation water, plant disease, nematodes, cultural or environmental problems. Plant tissue and soil analyses can reveal nutrient deficiencies that can be corrected.

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For maintenance and monitoring of established landscapes, fertility analyses will provide information on the success of the existing fertilizer program and identify areas that need improvement.

Evaluation of imported “topsoil”

If you have an imported topsoil that you or your client may choose to use as an amendment, submit this material as an additional sample for testing and have it included in your soil report.  Some imported so-called topsoil may actually be subsoil or engineered soils containing high levels of salts from recycled waste products.

Subsoil can be characterized by micro-nutrient deficiencies. Some organic materials such as mushroom compost are often high in soluble salt and can pose a threat to salt-sensitive plants. Composts may also not be completely stable and will decompose much faster than other organic soil amendments, and not provide the physical soil improvements for as long as possible.

This additional laboratory testing reduces the liability associated with making uninformed decisions about fertilizer and organic amendment applications.

Laboratory testing also reduces the liability associated with making uninformed decisions about fertilizer and organic amendment applications.

Horticultural Appraisal Package

(WELO Compliant) H-1-R
Complete soil chemical and physical analyses
$ 256
  • Fertility Analysis pH, electrical conductivity, nitrate nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium
  • Saturation percentage, calcium plus magnesium, sodium, chloride, boron, SAR, ESP
  • Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate and Boron from saturated paste extract, DTPA extracted zinc, copper, manganese, and iron
  • Organic Matter
  • Cation Exchange Capacity
  • Lime content
  • Soil Texture Analysis

Learn More About Landscape Testing Packages at Perry Lab

Benefits of soil health sampling and lab analysis tests

While important information about an areas soil can be obtained from a USDA soil survey, each piece of land can be unique. The soil where you will design and or install a landscape can vary significantly. Topography, aspect, the influence from vegetation, past earth disturbances (grading or erosion) and past management practices can cause soils to vary significantly, even within a neighborhood.