Which soil tests should I do?


#1

There are quite a few different soil tests you can choose from! Based on your farm management objectives you can decide which tests make sense for you to start building a detailed picture of your soil.

If you’re not sure which ones to start with, here’s 5 key tests you can try first to get a general overview what’s going on: https://soils.sectormentor.com/case-study/building-soil-health-5-key-soil-tests-to-get-you-started/

Let us know which tests you’re doing or planning to do, why you decided to do them and what you’ve learnt, so we can all understand soil monitoring more clearly! :seedling:


#2

The weather is warming up and I’m planning to get out in the fields in a few weeks to start testing the soils on the farm! I think I’ll start with VESS, Earthworms, Slake, Infiltration test, Spading ease, top soil depth, % groundcover and brix (my refractometer arrived!). Does this sound like a good spread?


#3

Hey Annie,

Well that warm snap didn’t last :wink:
With the tests, important to divide into weather-variable and non. And to carry-out the weather-variable in one session/day.
Of those on your list infiltration and earthworm are the main ones. So why not have a day on them? But you could wait, at least a month for those.
Otherwise VESS, spading, depth etc change little. So can be done all at once in each field.
Nice one


#4

Thanks for the advice Neils - really helpful! I had a read of the ‘when to
do the tests’ on the website and starting to understand a little better
about this :slight_smile:

I’ll be home for the last week of March, so will get going with earthworm
and infiltration first, and then try the others! Need to find a good bit of
kit for the infiltration test…

Catch you soon!

m: +44 7940 449777 | twitter: @annielandless
https://twitter.com/annielandless


#5

If it’s wet and has been wet infiltration will be /very/ slow. So you
either might hold off or have lots of rings that you can manage as a
batch. Worms should be good.
Be good if you came out on a day with me and Abby. Should organise a
demo day. In April sometime


#6

Yes I would love to do that - next time an opportunity comes up let me
know. Weekends are generally fine but for weekdays I have to fit it around
my job, but I can normally find a workaround!

m: +44 7940 449777 | twitter: @annielandless
https://twitter.com/annielandless