Soil Sampling Essay, Research Paper
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TAKING A
These instructions are for taking a soil sample from a yard, pasture, or any other piece of land. The purpose of a soil sample is to determine the pH of the soil. These instructions give a simple step by step procedure that anyone can do. Anyone who is trying to grow something can use a soil sample to help them get the best growth for whatever they are planting. The reason for needing to read these instructions is so that a proper sample will be taken so you will get the best results for your soil.
There are not a lot of materials and equipment needed to take a soil sample. You are going to need the area of soil to be sampled, a soil sample bag, a small shovel or other digging tool, a measuring cup (optional), a bucket, and a pen or pencil. A soil sample bag is the bag that you will put your sample in. It can be obtained from fertilizer dealers, the Soil Conservation Service, your local Soil Conservation Service, or the Stephen F. Austin Agriculture Department. Samples usually cost about ten dollars and take about a month to get the results back, so plan ahead.
shovels buckets soil sample bag
CAUTION: Do not take samples from different fields or areas and put in the same bag. This may cause you to get the wrong results for a specific area. This does not apply to your yard. One sample is OK in this case. This comes in to play if you are sampling different spots over a large area, say over twenty acres.
WARNING: Do not stab shovel into your foot, this may cause injury to your toes or other parts of your foot.
Choose an area where you want to have the soil tested before you plant something on it.
Obtain a soil sample bag from one of the places listed above.
Choose 5 to 15 spots in your area to take samples from.
At each of the spots you chose in your area use your digging device to make a small vertical, up and down, hole. Only 2 to 6 inches deep is needed.
When you have all of your holes dug, get your bucket and digging device and go back to where you dug your first hole.
Now, at each hole you dug use your shovel to get a small piece of soil from the bottom of each hole. Make sure the piece of soil you get does not have any grass or roots in it, these could give you bad results. As you get the sample from each hole each place them in your bucket.
After you have put soil from all of your holes in the bucket mix the soil thoroughly with your hand.
After you mix your soil use a measuring cup or just guess and measure out about a pint of soil from your bucket.
Pour the pint of soil in your soil sample bag and seal it.
Now label your bag so you will know where you took the sample. This is especially important if you are taking samples from different areas.
On your bag you need to write a brief history of the soil inside the bag. This can be prior fertilizations, what type of vegetation has grown there in the past, and what you are planning on planting in the soil you are testing.
You also need to write your name and address on the sample bag to your results can be mailed to you.
Now you can take the soil sample back to the place where you got the soil sample bag. Expect about a month to get the results of your sample back.
Bibliography for graphics:
Picture of shovels- www.buhler.com/buhler/tools/shovels.html
Picture of buckets-
Picture of soil sample bag-