5 steps to take to collect a good soil sample
SoilCares technology makes soil testing faster and more affordable. This allows you to do a soil test more often. However, the quality of soil testing results depends greatly on the quality of the sample submitted for analysis. Therefore, collecting a soil sample in a proper manner is crucial. You can do that easily by following these five steps.
Step 1: Put together the tools
First put together all the tools you will need:
- A soil auger
- A bucket
- A SoilCares sample bag
Step 2: Determine the right pattern
Determine where to sample and collect your samples following a zig-zag pattern. The area to be sampled should be as uniform as possible in terms of soil type, previously planted crops and applied fertilisers.
Step 3: Check if you take samples at the right depth
The samples should be taken 25cm deep using an auger. This is the recommended depth because that’s where the rooting zone of most crops is situated.
Step 4: Mix it thoroughly
Put all the samples collected with the auger in a bucket and mix it thoroughly. Remember that samples taken in different fields (where different crops were grown or different fertilisers applied) should not be put in the same bucket. Each field should have its own bucket.
Step 5: Take it to a lab
Put the equivalent of 800 grammes of the soil from each bucket in a plastic bag, seal it and take it to your laboratory.
Make sure to collect your sample in the correct area:
- Take samples at least 200 m distance from roads where cars are passing.
- Take samples at least 20 m distance from water bodies.
- Do not take samples within homesteads, villages, towns.
- Do not take samples on visibly contaminated spots (oil/fuel, rubbish, nutrient sources like heaps or bags of compost /plant debris/fertilizer…).
- Do not take a sample where the topsoil was obviously removed.
- Do not take samples near trees: Do not collect samples under tree crowns.
After collecting the soil sample, send it or take it to one of the soil testing labs that use our Lab-in-a-box for soil analysis. Find a lab near you here.
Would you like to know more about the advantages of testing your soil? Then check our latest blog!