ORISKANY, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension in Oneida County (CCE) recognizes how strongly residents feel about putting in their own gardens this year. CCE in Oriskany will accept up to 3 soil samples per household for free pH testing. In many cases a garden, lawn, or landscape is having issues due to the soil pH being off. Unless you have a specific problem area you should dig down 6 inches into the soil in several places in your garden, landscape or lawn. For more specific instructions on taking a soil sample for pH see cceoneida.com/home-garden/gardening/soils-climate/how-to-take-a-soil-sample. Take the samples from your specific garden or area, mix them together and take out 1⁄4 cup of soil, put it in a baggie and bring it to the CCE building at 121 Second St. in Oriskany.
At the front door look for the drop off bin marked for “pH” soil samples Make sure you take a form and fill-out the top part for each individual sample (i.e. Garden, lawn, and/or fruit trees, etc.) Take a black marker from the box and put your name on the baggie. If you have more than one sample put your name and area, i.e. “lawn” or “vegetable garden” on the bag and the form. For faster turn-around time include a clear legible email at the top of the form and a phone number in case the lab tech has any questions. Soil pH will be tested each Monday and Friday morning. Remember only 3 samples per Oneida county household and testing is free.
If you need more extensive soil testing, you can pick up soil boxes and the proper form (homeowners should use Form “H” for all submissions.) Follow the instructions on your form and send your soil to the lab at Dairyone in Ithaca. Make sure everything is filled out and you include a check for the services you requested. Forms and boxes are available in the cooler in front of the CCE building. Forms are also available for commercial growers and farmers. You will need a box for each separate sample you are sending. Print out forms at home by visiting https://dairyone.com/resources/forms-and-documents/.
If you live outside of Oneida County and need soil testing contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office. If you live in Oneida County and have questions call 315-736-3394 ext. 100. Phones are monitored weekdays 8-4 and we are happy to answer any soil or gardening questions. Stay up-to-date on gardening information by visiting our website at http://cceoneida.com/ and be sure to like and follow us on Facebook.
—Linda Wimmer, Cornell Cooperative Extension