Hancock County residents can have their soil tested for the pH level for free on Thursday July 23rd or July 30th from 4 to 6 p.m. at the USDA building, NRCS office, 474 Bucksport Road (Route 1).

This free service is provided in cooperation with the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. A volunteer from HCSWCD will be doing the testing.

A table will be outside. Please be prepared to follow Covid-19 Guidelines.

The pH of soil is a measure of relative acidity-alkalinity. Values below 7 are acidic and above 7 are alkaline. Soils in Hancock County tend to be acidic and often can be too acidic for the flower and vegetable garden plants that everyone want to grow. Soil pH also has a strong influence on amounts and kinds of nutrients available for plant roots.

Using a clean trowel, collect soil from the root zone (0-8 inches deep) in your garden or field. In wooded areas discard the leaf litter on top and collect soil 0-8 inches deep in a clean container. Mix well to homogenize the material to be tested. Generally, for a garden or field take samples from several different areas (5 to 6 same-sized samples so you can mix for a representative sample). Put your final sample (1 cup) in a ziplock bag or a dixie cup with your name, contact info, and the number and location of samples.

For more info call 207-812-9710