Soil Testing Program

Lawn Maintenance

A push mower cutting the grass.Maintaining your lawn is important to the health of our watershed. Without maintenance there can be increased runoff containing high levels of sediment and nutrients. One source of increased nutrient runoff comes from fertilizer application. However, testing your soil can help you learn how much fertilizer you actually need, which leads to a healthier lawn and watershed. Besides having a healthier watershed, soil testing is also a great way to save money. Knowing the amount of each nutrient that is needed makes it easier to find the right fertilizer and apply it in the correct amounts. Keep in mind that there is a law restricting the use of phosphorus fertilizer; in most conditions it should not be used. Click HERE to find out what the exceptions are.

Pilot Soil Test Program

We are excited to announce that the District is continuing a pilot Soil Testing program with the help of the U of M Soil Testing Laboratory in 2024.

This pilot program was tested in the Holiday/Wing/Rose Lake subwatersheds in Minnetonka in 2023. In 2024, we are expanding the program to include the subwatersheds of Arrowhead and Indianhead Lakes in Edina. These areas were chosen based on high levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen found in these lakes. This program is part of a larger suite of projects to improve the health of these particular lakes. Visit our current studies page or current projects page to learn more. Participants will be required to dig their own holes to collect soil and drive the sample to our District office, Discovery Point (12800 Gerard Dr., Eden Prairie). Samples can be dropped off 24/7 using our drop box near the main entrance.

Through this pilot program, we will assess the feasibility of offering it watershed wide in the future. We will offer free soil testing kits to the first 20 people in the pilot area who sign up. The District will cover the cost of the U of M soil test for participants in the pilot area.

To see if you are in the pilot area and eligible for a free soil testing kit, contact Nik at


  1. The soil sample dropbox is located around the column from the front door.

    Fill out the Wufoo form below to let us know you want to participate.

  2. Check your email. You should receive an email in a few days with more detailed instructions.
  3. Wait for your soil test starter kit to arrive.
  4. Take a sample. This requires you to dig 5 small holes in your yard, collect soil from them, and put the soil in the provided sample bag.
  5. Drop off your soil sample at Discovery Point in Eden Prairie.
  6. Receive your results in an email in 3-4 weeks from the UMN.

*We are not reimbursing you, please go through our program to receive free soil testing. This program will continue while supplies last or until August 5, 2024.

Questions? Email Education and Outreach Intern Nik at

Sign up form

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