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Soilless Media Analysis

Kristin A. Hicks, Ph.D., Section Chief
(919) 664-1603
Don Edralin, Ph.D. Agronomist

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.

Choose Your Tests

Standard Analysis: nitrate-nitrogen, ammonium-nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, chloride, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, aluminum, pH and electrical conductivity/soluble salts.
In-State Grower Sample
$5.00 *
In-State Research Sample
$12.00 **
Out-of-State Grower or Research Sample
$25.00 **
Optional Tests
Molybdenum (Mo)
Bulk Density (BD)
See Bulk Density sampling Quick Guide

*Samples qualify for the in-state rate if they originated in North Carolina.
**Research samples: additional form required. See “Submit a Sample” section.

Collect a Sample

Sample Turnaround Times
Soilless Media Analysis Guide
Water and Media Testing for Greenhouse Managers
Bulk Density Testing for Nursery & Greenhouse Managers

Sample containers are not provided by NCDA&CS. Submit 1–2 quarts of a representative sample in a sealed plastic bag.

Submit a Sample

Soilless Media Sample Submission Form (Grower)
Soilless Media Sample Submission Form (Research)
NCDA Sample ID Spreadsheet

Research samples require an annual research agreement prior to submission.

Find Your Report

Once a report is released, you will receive an email notification with a link to your report on the PALS website. You may also search for your report online under your name at

Report Search (PALS)

How to retrieve your report on PALS - Video tutorial

Understand Your Report

Understanding the Soilless Media Report

Useful References

NCDA&CS Soilless Media Methods

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Last Update February 27, 2023


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

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