Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Exeter Gardens- soil samples

The soil samples where sent to the Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory  located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts.

From their website:

Soil Sampling Instructions 
"The most critical step in soil testing is collecting the sample. It is important that you take the 
necessary steps to obtain a representative sample; a poor sample could result in erroneous 
The first step is to determine the area that will be represented by the sample. Soil physical 
appearance, texture, color, slope, drainage, and past management should be similar throughout 
the area. Avoid sampling very wet or recently fertilized soils. It may be helpful to draw a map 
of the property and identify areas where you will collect samples.  Using a clean bucket and a 
spade, auger, or sampling tube collect at least 10 to 15 subsamples to a depth of six to eight 
inches from random spots within the defined area. Avoid sampling field edges and other nonrepresentative areas.
Next, break up any lumps or clods of soil, remove stones and debris, and thoroughly mix
subsamples in the bucket. This step is very important, because only a few grams of your sample 
will be used for testing. Once the sample is thoroughly mixed, scoop out approximately one cup 
of soil and spread on a clean sheet of paper to air-dry. A fan set on low will help speed the 
drying; do not apply heat.
Place dry sample in a UMass Soil Testing Laboratory carton (obtained from the lab) or a plastic 
zip-lock bag. Do not submit wet soil samples to the lab. Label each box or zip-lock bag with 
your sample ID (you create this: limit of 5 characters). Send your sample(s), completed 
submission form and payment to the address listed on the front. Enclose check payable to UMass 
for $10 for each sample plus additional fees for optional tests requested."

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