Soil testing serves a variety of purposes. They are a requirement for a new building to be put up, and all people starting a farming project need to know the type of soil they have and how to improve it. The reliability if the soil test that you usually take depends on the quality of the sample which you submit for testing. To send a reliable sample, you need to make sure that the soil which you package represents the entire area which you are testing. Here are some guidelines which you can follow to get the ideal soil samples.
Selecting the area to sample
The area that you select for the sampling has to be as uniform as possible regarding type of soil and history of fertiliser and manure usage. This means that you need to take soil from a patch of land which you intend to use as one unit. For instance, if you have subdivided your land into a vegetable patch and another where you plant strawberries, you cannot mix soils from the different areas into one sample. In case there is a part of the patch which you view as the problem area of the patch, have two samples, one representing the good part and the other representing the not so good part.
Taking the perfect sample
Experts in sample collection say that the best way to get a good soil sample is walking around the patch in question in a zigzag pattern. As you walk, you can pick core slices of the soil and then mix them thoroughly in a pail which you will use for lab tests. The area of the land which you want to sample will determine the number of samples you should take.
The tools to use for sampling
The two tools which are used for the sampling process are a soil probe and a garden trowel. Either of the tools is pushed into the earth and at the needed depth and scoop out the amount of soil which you need. Take a few cores and mix them in a pail before storing them for transportation to the lab.
When you follow these guidelines, you will collect samples which will represent the entire area you need to be tested adequately. It is also essential to make sure that you have handed the samples to competent laboratories so that you can be assured of accurate and reliable results.Share