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NC State Extension

Packing and Shipping

Note that turfgrass samples are handled somewhat differently than what follows. Details are available at the Turf Diagnostics Laboratory site.

Send specimens as soon as possible after collecting. Refrigerate any specimens that cannot be shipped immediately. There are three methods for getting samples to us.

Method 1: Submitting via the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service

We encourage making your local cooperative extension office the first point of contact for yard and garden problems. They may be able to give you an immediate answer to your question, and if not, they can help you by entering the data online and shipping the sample to the PDIC. You can save time by making sure you have a complete sample from the begging of the process. See the individual “how to submit sample” pages for details.

Method 2: Bringing the sample to the PDIC

If you chose to bring a sample to us directly, be sure to do so before 4:30 p.m. on a weekday. It is recommended that you drive onto NC State’s north campus using the public entrance off of Pullen Road, listed as “Option 1” on our Contacts & Directions page.

There is currently no public access to Gardner Hall, but there is a sheltered outdoor drop-off location at the lower level door at the southeast corner of Gardner Hall. Be sure to bring the completed sample form or write the system-generated sample number on the bag or box. Blank forms are NOT provided at the drop-off point.

view of the end of the parking lot between Gardner and Williams Halls

The drop-off location, pictured below, is underneath the overhang at the north end of the small parking lot between Gardner and Williams Halls, next to the gray double doors.

boxes and basked where samples and forms are to be left

Samples should be left in the burgundy-colored basket.

Method 3: Shipping the sample to the PDIC

After properly placing the sample in a bag or vial, according to the instructions for each sample type, be sure to pack it properly for shipping.

  • Double-check that bags are closed so that soil does not spill out in transit.
  • Pack samples in a sturdy cardboard box, secured against tumbling in transit.
  • When the weather is consistently below freezing, an insulating inner package may be helpful.
  • See the special instructions for out-of-state samples.
  • Enclose a copy of either the handwritten sample submission form or the printout of the “report” page for the sample entry in the database, if you entered the information online.
  • Avoid shipping samples late in the week, so that they don’t spend the weekend in transit.
  • Use the appropriate address listed on our Contacts & Directions page, depending on the service you are using to ship the sample.