For All Soil Testing Inquiries:

BLOSSOM Consulting Services
4711 Black Lake Blvd, Olympia, WA 98512
360-943-5670 phone/fax     

Soil Test Instructions PDF



The Only Way to Grow! 



Gardening magazines and books frequently urge gardeners to get their soil tested.  Yet, one wonders how really necessary soil testing is and whether it is worth the trouble and expense.  Furthermore, you may have doubts that you can make sense of the test results or know what products to use for “correcting” your soil to get the best plant response.  Have no fear.  BLOSSOM Consulting has solutions.

There actually are situations where soil testing may not be worthwhile.  However, we at BLOSSOM Consulting strongly recommend a professional soil test for most food gardening situations.  Professional soil analyses (tests) are, admittedly, somewhat expensive.  However, they are nearly always money well-invested and usually you will save money on fertilizer purchases by knowing precisely what to buy and not to buy.  Professional soil tests take the guesswork out of garden fertilization.  Considering the controlling influence that fertility has over crop productivity and the quality of produce, we believe getting a soil test is the wisest first step and most important thing you can do for your garden or farm.  The best crops will result from having balanced, amply fertilized soils.

While it is helpful, we do not especially recommend having your soil professionally analyzed for landscape plantings and lawns.  Soil tests are generally not warranted for temporary gardening situations, very small gardens, or where gardeners are not looking to their gardens for a major portion of their food and for especially high nutrition in their diets.  For such situations, general recommendations based on typical conditions may suffice.  We can provide such guesstimations, although we have to say from viewing results of numerous tests that many local soils are far from “typical”.        

For several reasons we recommend a professional soil test over simple do-it-yourself home test kits or even over agency and university testing.  Small, inexpensive test kits can have their place, but they are of limited value regardless of how accurately they might measure nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (N-P-K) and pH (acidity/alkalinity).  At least a dozen other elements and factors are involved.  Importantly, home test kits do not tell you anything about the levels of calcium, magnesium, and sulfur (so-called secondary plant nutrients) which are very important to plant growth and health.  Nor do they give you any information about the vital trace element deficiencies and excesses frequently encountered in today’s soils or about the soil cation exchange capacity and base saturation percentages.


Because of a seriously mistaken notion that “secondary” nutrients are accounted for by the pH reading, many test kit manufacturers, testing laboratories, and resource agencies simply are not capable of supplying appropriate fertilizer and liming recommendations from the data they collect.  Another shortcoming of most laboratories is that they are geared toward large-scale, chemicalized farming operations and are ill-prepared to make recommendations suited to small-scale organic farming and backyard gardening.  BLOSSOM Consulting is uniquely qualified to provide skilled interpretation of professional laboratory test data and make precise recommendations to implement a Mineral-Augmented Organic program for lasting soil treatment.  Soil testing is unquestionably a smart move and we make it easy.  Our professional soil testing services and costs are described below.

Black Lake Organic Garden Store

4711 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Olympia, WA. 98512

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