Soil testing

Asked June 23, 2020, 3:15 PM EDT

I recently planted a bunch of edibles along the side of our 1908 house, close to the building (peppers, tomatoes, beans, peas, basil...). I realized today that I should have checked the soil first for lead and contaminants. I have a 3 year old who likes to snack from the garden, so I'm especially concerned for his health. Is there a kit I can order or a service you recommend that can test our soil before we harvest?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Here is a link for analytical labs Here is a link to an OSU publication for the Analytical Laboratories Serving Oregon https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8677.pdf
I recommend you review the websites for the different types of analysis and the respective costs. There has been research about how plants can uptake contaminants like lead and cadmium but most are based on industrial-related contamination like smelting. I found this interesting article in Nature magazine but I would be surprised if your yard has similar circumstances https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-60386-8

However, I understand your caution and recommend you have the soil tested by a lab.