Soil Science

The SCD employs one full-time soil scientist who is available to answer any soil-related questions and requests for technical assistance. We offer low-cost soil tests to the public for urban landowners (lawn & garden) and small acre farms. The soil scientist can also assist customers in using the NRCS Web Soil Survey.

Although the soils in Spokane County have not changed, there have been significant changes in technology, land use and a need for soil information. In 1998 the SCD partnered with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to update the Spokane County Soil Survey, which, until then, had remained unchanged for 30 years.

Click here to see a copy of the Soil Survey.  Using the Web Soil Survey you can access data for your area and determine suitability of the soils for a particular use. You can download or print a customized report for free.

Soil Tests

We offer low-cost soil tests to the public for urban landowners (lawn & garden) and small acre farms. The Lawn and Garden Test includes phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, pH, and organic matter; the Small Farms test also includes sulfur. 

The lab fee (per single sample) is $30 for a Lawn and Garden Soil and $35 for a Small Farms Soil test, payable by cash, check and credit/debit. Additional fees ($15 each) will apply if various distinct recommendations are requested such as lawn and blueberries. Customers are encouraged to consult with the soil scientist prior to digging a sample in order to determine if two separate tests are needed, or if one test and two sets of recommendations will provide accurate results. 

Print and fill out the form in advance or at our office to include with your sample and payment; also visit the video and links at right for information on how to take a sample. Drop off your soil sample during our office hours, 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Thursday.