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NC State Extension

How to Submit a Turf Sample

Attention – The Turf Diagnostics Lab is temporarily closed. For more information, click here.


If you have a turf problem, and don’t know what it is, then you’ve come to the right place. Accurate diagnosis of the problem is a critical first step in controlling it quickly and economically. The NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab specializes in rapid and accurate diagnosis of turfgrass diseases and other problems for turfgrass professionals and property owners.

Homeowners should contact their local county extension office before coming to us since they will likely be able to help you quicker. You will also get a 33% discount if you submit your samples through them versus doing it on your own. To find your local agent, please visit the following website – NC State Extension

Please note that we do not process nematode samples. We suggest you submit those to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nematology Lab. More information can be found here – NCDA&CS Nematode Lab

A completed sample submission form is required for ALL samples. Please take the time to fill in as much information as possible to help ensure an accurate diagnosis. A video guide is provided below for proper sample collection. Fees are applied per problem. Please send at least 2, but no more than 4, samples per problem.

In addition to physical samples, we now REQUIRE digital images of the affected area. This allows us understand exactly what the symptoms are and increase our accuracy during the diagnostic process. Photos from standing height looking out across the turf are ideal. Up close photos or those looking straight down at the ground typically aren’t useful unless they clearly show something unique. Photos should be emailed directly to Lee Butler at elbutler@ncsu.edu prior to submitting samples.

Samples should be shipped overnight to the following address:

NC State Turf Diagnostics Lab
1575 Varsity Drive
Module 6
Raleigh, NC 27695
(919) 513-3878


When choosing a guaranteed delivery time, please don’t choose anything prior to 10:30 a.m. due to delivery companies may try to deliver your package before we open at 8:00 a.m. An example would be if you chose an 8:30 a.m. delivery time and they try to deliver at 7:30 a.m. to meet the request of a guaranteed delivery by 8:30 a.m. This will delay the delivery of your package until the company tries again later that day.

Also, do not send samples with a weekend or holiday delivery date as for the university is closed and delivery services will not come to campus until the next available date.

Alternatively, samples can be dropped off in-person at the address above between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please leave samples on the table in the front office (Suite 1535). Make sure the samples are in a box and not leaking soil.