Soil Sampling Procedures


Sampling areas should be grouped according to some common denominator such as management zones, irrigation zones, soil types, plant types, plant varieties, topography, etc.



The sample should consist of a random composite sample of the sampling area.

If diagnosing a problem, the soil should be taken exclusively from the problem area(s).


Sampling instructions

Each sample submitted for testing should consist of soil taken from the root zone of the plants being grown from 5–6 different locations within the area to be tested.

Due to possible contamination, the surface 1–2” should not be included in the sample.

Any areas that are exhibiting problems or have been managed differently should be treated as separate sampling areas.


How to Label Samples

Each sample should be labeled on the OUTSIDE of the bag with the identification that will best identify it for your purposes. Please be brief in the labeling. 


Sample volume & shipping

Each sample should consist of one quart or one liter of soil.

Samples should be shipped in plastic bags, such as zip-lock type bags, inside a mailing envelope or box.

Fill out the Horticultural
Submission Form

Please include the following information with your sample(s):

  • Name
  • Address and
  • Phone number
  • Email Address
  • Planting Situation i.e. Established / New Garden, New Homesite
  • Sample Identification
  • Conventional or organic fertilizer recommendations
  • Additional information about sample i.e.: any problems


Samples can be sent by US mail, UPS, FedEx or any other carrier to:

Perry Laboratory
424 Airport Boulevard
Watsonville, CA 95076

Samples may also be dropped off at the same location.

The lab is open from 8 to 5 pm Monday – Friday.

Please submit payment along with the sample(s). Payments can be made by check or if paid by credit card, please include card type, card number, expiration date and csv#.

If you have any questions, call (831) 722-7606

Contact us via email at:

Considerations in Soil Sampling


Water Sampling

Plant Tissue Sampling