Thursday, March 19, 2009

Garden Soil Testing

For any questions regarding the ESAC soil testing service, click on the link below. I have used this soil-testing service, and you can see how I put my sample together here and the results of my tests here. For other thoughts on lead in our soils, read this post and that post. See my page above for other testing services.
Brooklyn College Environmental Sciences Analytical Center SOIL TESTING SERVICE.
Any Questions:

Contact: Dr. Joshua Cheng
Phone: (718) 951-5000 ext. 2647
Fax: (718) 951-4753
Brooklyn College Environmental Sciences Analytical Center
2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11210


  1. Thanks for this, Frank. We (company I work for) send samples to Cornell, but this way we can be local.

  2. I don't know if it is any cheaper than Cornell, but the prices are affordable compared to commercial labs, really a lot less.

    Since food growing in city yards has become chic or de rigueur, may as well have the soil info. To me, soil is the ground floor of gardening.

  3. This is excellent news! I'm hoping that my next class at BBG will be Soil Management, so the timing couldn't be better for me.

    I'm also glad to see a local resource for this. And very competitively priced. Most Brooklyn gardeners I know don't use Cornell because of the cost, and use other states' CoopEx resources instead.

  4. BBG has brought out a very nice booklet about soil: Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens. Only thing that bothers me is that in the section on fertilizer, rock phosphate is listed. It sure is natural but how it's processed, ain't.

  5. I have to say that I rarely fertilize, but with compost, yet my job doesn't depend on super blooms.

    If phosphate is a required nutrient by all living things, then it must be available naturally. For example, we "discovered" phosphorous in dried human urine. So lets welcome cats and dogs pissing on our tomatoes!

    Were does everything else get its P? Funny, just realized "P" "pee".

    Of course, there's always bone meal if you don't worry about the slaughtering of animals and the possible spreading of mad cow disease. Bone meal is how I've added P in the past. The P that Marie mentions may be superphosphate. I read your link and I don't disagree with the OCA. If I were a beginning gardener, I'd just spread the compost and learn how well that works, move on from there with an open mind and concern for the world.

    After we all test our soils we'll know how much P is in there. In my soil I'm expecting a lot of cat P.

    The price is really exceptional and Dr. Cheng has been responsive to my requests. I hope this goes well and please help get the word out.


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...