Free Soil Tests for Lawns in Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Orange & Rappahannock

Picture it: the first touch of spring is near. The days are warmer, the ground is thawing and local garden departments are displaying bags of fertilizer and mulch. If you’re new to having a lawn you might think that it’s time to apply fertilizer. But wait! You might not need it! How would you know? Get a soil test! A soil test will tell you the nutrients that exist in your lawn and what is lacking. The test costs just $10 plus shipping but CSWCD is offering it to landowners for free! Here are the details:

  • Introductory meeting: This introductory meeting will feature a demo of how to take a soil sample and soil sample kits will be handed out. It’s easy! Other topics include well & septic system maintenance, Bay friendly lawn care and ways to address problem areas in your yard.
  • Monday August 6 by 4:30pm: soil samples are due back for shipping to your local Extension office
  • Interpretation meeting: Follow up meeting with analysis and next step recommendations

Why are we doing this in August? Because often times the best lawn fertilizer is actually applied in the fall. Registration is required and is limited on a first come first serve basis. The follow-up meetings are 2 weeks after the first meeting in the same location.

  • Culpeper: July 30 at the VFW
  • Greene & Madison: August 3 at Hoover Ridge Park in Madison
  • Orange: August 2 at the Ag Research Station
  • Rappahannock: August 1 at the Extension office (church next door if necessary)

To sign up, contact  Stephanie DeNicola at or 540-825-8591 with your address and phone number. This program is funded by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay License Plate Fund.

Have a septic system? Nearly everyone is eligible for a pump out!

There aren’t any income requirements, although lower income folks may be eligible for higher cost share rates. For more information:

Drinking Water Testing Clinics:  $50 per sample.

  • Culpeper & Rappahannock: October 4 — this is different than the newsletter article (To sign up contact Becky Sheffield at 540-727-3435 ext. 344.)

The latest issue of our newsletter, Views from the Foothills, can be found here: