Skip Navigation


Agronomic Services — Soilless Media Analysis

Kristin A. Hicks, Ph.D., section chief

Media analysis (using the saturated media extract procedure) helps growers fine-tune their fertilization programs for container crops grown in soilless media by enabling them to monitor changes in electrical conductivity, pH and nutrient levels.

Standard analysis includes: nitrate-nitrogen, ammonium-nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, sodium, chloride, aluminum, pH, electrical conductivity/soluble salts.

Standard fee per sample:

  • NC* growers $5
  • NC* researchers $12
  • Non-NC growers or researchers $25

Extra tests may be added to the standard analysis for an additonal fee:

  • Molybdenum (Mo) - $2
  • Bulk Density (BD) - $10

*Samples qualify for the in-state rate if they originated in North Carolina. Research samples require an annual research agreement prior to submission. All research samples receive a 10% analysis recheck for quality control at no added cost.

How to collect & submit a soilless media sample

Soilless Media Sample Submission Form (Grower)
Soilless Media Sample Submission Form (Research)
Soilless Media Analysis Guide
NCDA Sample ID Spreadsheet
Bulk Density Testing for Nursery & Greenhouse Managers
Water and Media Testing for Greenhouse Managers

How to find & interpret my report

Report Search (PALS)
Sample Turnaround Times
Understanding the Soilless Media Report

Soilless Media Sample Analysis NCDA&CS Soilless Media Methods
Sample Containers Sample containers are not provided by NCDA&CS. Submit 1–2 quarts of a representative sample in a sealed plastic bag.
Adobe - Get Acrobat Reader Logo (link to free download)

Many of the publications accessible from this page are published in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Click here to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat reader.

Last Update July 9, 2020


NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division, Colleen M. Hudak-Wise, Ph.D., Director
Mailing Address: 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1040
Physical Address: 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 664-1600; FAX: (919) 733-2837

How can we make this page better for you?
Contact the NCDA&CS

Found a bug? Have a suggestion? Fill out the form below and we'll take a look!

Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Question or Comments:

Back to top

Get Email Alerts

Stay up to date with NCDA&CS. Sign up to receive the latest news and upcoming events via email.