Oregon State University

Compost and Soil Mix Testing

Compost is widely used in both industrial and home gardening. Unless it decomposes properly and completely, it can be a source of weeds and other undesirable plants, and, if toxic, can do more harm than good. We can test your compost to determine if it contains undesirable components and if it produces symptoms of toxicity in seedlings.

Soil and soil-less mixes can also be tested. In addition to seed searches, we can test the soil for germination potential.

Tests we have done include:

  • Search for the presence of noxious weed seeds in compost.
  • Search for and test seeds present in compost for viability.
  • Toxicity test (using sensitive seeds) to detect any toxic components of the compost. 
  • Foreign materials search to determine the presence of glass, plastic, metal, etc.

To be tested, the compost must be completely decomposed and of yard or vegetable origin only, no animal products or animal waste material. It must not have poison oak in it, and if it contains plant material that was exposed to potentially harmful chemicals (i.e. herbicides and pesticides), the chemicals must be identified so the analysts can take proper precautions.

Contact Info

The OSU Seed Laboratory is an AOSA and ISTA member lab and is ISTA Accredited Laboratory US07.

3291 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-4464
Fax: 541-737-2126
seedlab@oregonstate.edu

Hours: 8-5 Mon - Fri
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