The county extension offices here in the San Francisco Bay Area don't offer soil testing. I believe we are one of the very few areas in the country that are missing out on this service. I've made attempts to have my soil tested before but the fees charged by the private laboratories make it prohibitive. Thanks for the link to MidWest Labs - they are offering a free first time test and their prices are great.
Paul, I know there are some VERY expensive PH meters but the "rapidtest" is about $30. We propagate plants, our native soil is very alkaline, and we use lots of raised beds. The extension service charges $12 for the kind of test you describe so it is cost prohibitive for as many beds as we would need to do. Thanks for your input. Gene
I had my soil tested and I'm working with it organically, but I have a section of Rhododendrons that don't seem very happy, I did home soil tests with vinegar and with soda, both bubbled and fizzed, now I'm totally confused, my rhodos are getting yellow which would suggest alkaline soil, what should I do?