Sorry we’re no longer regularly doing soil testing services! For lead testing we recommend the fine folk at

Welcome to VEG’s Soil Doctor service.

For lead and contamination testing, click here.

Nutrient and Healthy Biology Soil Testing

Healthy humans need healthy plants, and healthy plants need healthy soil.

As we rove around Melbourne completing permaculture designs and setting up edible gardens, we’re developing a good understanding of Melbourne’s different soil types, and the most effective steps to getting them as healthy as possible.

Some soils need serious work, whereas others look and feel fine but need subtle rebalancing.

VEG now offers soil testing and remediation services in collaboration with Soil Doctor: a specialist soil testing and remediation service involving site visits to observe:

  • soil types and profile
  • water infiltration and drainage rates
  • pH
  • compaction
  • biology

Then, depending on your situation and the state of your soil, we recommend and coordinate chemistry tests and biology tests.  This tells us what minerals and nutrients are present, what minerals and nutrients are actually available to plants, and what microbes are present to assist in making them available.

Once the state of your soil has been diagnosed, we can advise on or actually help remediate, using site-specific techniques to decompact your soil, aerate your soil, ensure adequate winter water drainage and summer water retention, and achieve critical mineral balances and nutrient levels.  We have seen good results in nutrient-poor silty clay soils within two months of remediation, and amazing results after a few years.

Soil Nutrient and Biology Test Prices

While onsite Visit required
Soil chemistry (nutrient balance) test $250 $310
Soil biology test $540 $600

All tests include both raw test results and an explanatory report with our recommendations.  Note that “while onsite” means if we are onsite for other reasons, such as a design consultancy.  If we need to make a special trip to take the sample, then the “visit required” prices apply.



If you’re next to an old and busy road, or in a painted house built during the 1960s or earlier, you may as well assume that there are elevated levels of lead in your soil.  Other common contaminants include cadmium and other heavy metals, DDT and dieldrin residues, organophosphate pesticides (OPs), and what are known as Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are usually there from petroleum and refining residues.

Most of the time it’s a case of be alert, not alarmed.  However, it’s good to know exactly what’s there so you can take precautions and remediation strategies.  We help you conduct soil testing and interpreting the results.

With all tests you will receive:

  • a copy of the raw test results from the lab
  • an easy to read and understand explanatory report based on our experience and our extensive review of the scientific literature
  • recommendations for soil strategies, plants you can grow safely, and harvesting and dietary strategies so you can grow food at home healthily with confidence.

Soil Contaminant Test Prices

  While onsite Visit required
OC pesticides (inc. DDT, dieldrin) $250 $310
OC and OP pesticides (inc. more modern pesticides) $340 $400
Three heavy metals (e.g. Lead, Cadmium, Chromium) $180 $240
16 heavy metals $340 $400
Recommended: comprehensive screen (OC, OP, SP pesticides and 8 heavy metals) $520 $580
Comprehensive screen plus PAHs (OC, OP, SP pesticides, PAHs and 8 heavy metals) $720 $780

All prices include GST

Contact us to arrange a test.