What equipment do you have for doing soil tests?


Trying to get everything I need to start soil testing! I’ll be doing my first tests in one month when I’m back home at my parents farm.

I’ve pasted the full equipment list from the Sectormentor for soils website below, but I’m probably going to use what I can find at home and try a few simple tests first.

I have bought a refractometer similar to the one @englishfarm is using in the photo below - it was recommended on another thread by @nielscorfield - not too costly at £15 - I’m excited to have a go with it: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142618609853

Here is a full list of the equipment you might need for all the soil tests featured on the app. Please note most people do not do all the soil tests and therefore you don’t need all of this equipment. There is an individual equipment list on every soil test page so you can see exactly what is needed for each test:

Things you likely already have on farm:

  • Plastic bag
  • Smartphone to record results
  • Shallow dish
  • Teaspoon
  • Water
  • Spade
  • Bin bag/tray
  • Stopwatch (on phone)
  • Ruler/tape measure
  • Hand lens (optional)
  • Small bucket
  • Gloves
  • Fence post or soil probe
  • Soil probe or soil sampler
  • Dry cloth/kitchen roll
  • Clipboard (allows you to ‘compress’ the sward to take the reading)
  • Backpack/crate (to put all equipment in)
  • Small rubber mallet

Things you may need to make/print:

Things you may need to source:

  • Heavy Duty Garlic Crusher
  • Water Squirt Bottle
  • Compressed Sward Stick (http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/measure-grass)
  • Refractometer (Brix 0-32%)
  • Rising Plate Meter (eg Jenquip EC09 Plate Meter)
  • Soil Penetrometer (dial)
  • Penetrologger (digital penetrometer)
  • Soil pH Pen (e.g Bluelab), and buffer solution (see below)
  • pH 4.0 and pH 7.0 Buffer Solutions (for calibration)
  • Sap pH Meter (Horiba B-711 AQUAtwin pH-11 Portable pH Meter)
  • Distilled Water (for cleaning sap pH meter)