How to collect a good soil sample

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1. First put together all the tools you will need:

  • A soil auger
  • A bucket
  • A SoilCares sample bag

2. 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.

3. The samples should be taken 25cm deep using an auger as shown.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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