Below you will find a guide on how to provide us with the best soil sample for testing.
Soil Sampling Process
Individual cores of uniform size and depth collected from throughout the sampling zone or area should be composited in a clean, plastic bucket. A proper sample is a core taken from the surface to a depth of 15cm.
Mix these cores thoroughly and put homogeneous sub-sample into bag. Label the bag clearly and use this same information and identification on the soil test information form.
Follow the sampling grid guide below, avoid unusual spots, and try to obtain a well-balanced, representative sample from each point.
Soil sampling tools
There are two important requirements of a sampling tool. First, it must permit a uniform slice to be taken from the soil surface to a desired depth. Second, it must collect the same volume of soil from each sample site. A soil auger is the best tool for obtaining soil samples.
You need a total bulked sample of about 400g to send to the laboratory for full soil analysis.
If a soil auger is not available, a small shovel, trowel or a spade can work satisfactorily when used properly:
Dig out a spadeful or two of soil to a depth of 15-20cm, smooth off one vertical edge of the hole.
Take a slice of soil about 1cm thick, with the spade. Using a trowel, cut a 1/2 core lengthwise from the centre of the slice while it is still on the spade.
Put the core in a bucket to be mixed with the other cores from the designated sampling area.
Soil Sampling Technique
- Use an auger (or narrow trowel) to 15 – 20 cm depth for field crops
- Have ready a labelled, clear, strong plastic bag with seal (zip lock)
- Make sure that you remove obvious contaminants like straw trash or stones
- Take clean core subsample (B)
- If total core samples collected are too large for sample bag, place core samples in a bucket and mix thoroughly
- Check again for contaminants (weeds, roots, straw, sticks, worms, stones etc.)
- Check that bulked sample is sufficient (200 – 300g)
Include the following information for each sample:
- Organisation name
- Sample ID ( e.g. EM00123 )
- Name of the field sampled
- Grid Location (GPS, What3Words or map reference preferably)
- Date of sampling
- Previous crop
- Intended crop