Soil Sampling and Soil Preparation

Proper Technique for Collection of Soil Samples

It is important that the soil sample be representative of the area you want to study. Follow directions below to ensure that the test results represent the entire sampling area.

  1. Select an area for sampling.
  2. Use a clean trowel or spoon to collect samples.
  3. Collect scoops of soil from several different points in the area.
  4. Scoop away ground cover before sampling.
  5. Be sure to take soil from the surface and from several inches below the surface.
  6. Do not include large rocks or plant pieces in your sample.
  7. Collect samples in a clean plastic bag or paper cup.
  8. When you have enough soil for your test mix well with spoon or spatula.
  9. Label the container to identify the sampling area. Include collection date and description of the site.

Soil Preparation
  1. Spread out the sample on a clean sheet of paper.
  2. Allow soil to dry overnight.
  3. Remove foreign matter such as leaves, twigs, and stones.
  4. Crush soil gently to remove lumps.
  5. Sift the samples through a screen to give a uniform sample.