Our Dig-it Yourself Soil Health Test Kit will be shipped to you in a box, containing everything you need to collect and send us your soil samples:

1 Soil Sampler; 1 (or more) Soil Bags; 1 Instructions Sheet; and 1 Return Envelope.

How To Use The Soil Sampler

  1. Hold the soil sampler like a corkscrew and firmly plunge the opening into the soil to be collected.
  2. Gently remove the tool with a twisting or slight rocking motion ensuring that the tip contains a soil sample.
  3. Lift the plunger in the middle of the soil sampler, rotate and depress it, which will eject the soil from the tool and into the sample bag.
  4. Replace the plunger to the starting position and you’re ready to collect another sample. Repeat this process until you’ve collected all 7 to 8 of your soil samples.

Sampling Process

  • Collect and mail your soil samples on the same day.
  • Gently clean away any surface debris.
  • Test an area close to the sampling site for soil moisture. If water seeps between your fingers or drips from the soil, it’s too wet for sampling.
  • Use only sample collection tools contained in the kit.
  • Follow the sample collection instructions based on sampling types (*plant-based sample or *zone-based sample).
  • If plant roots are shallow, collect samples from 2cm to 7cm deep (1in to 3in).
  • If plant roots are deeper, collect samples from 8cm to 15cm (3.5in to 6in).
  • Do not place anything into the bag except the soil samples (i.e., no paper labels or notes).
  • Close the sample bag without removing all the enclosed air.
  • Send us your samples using the return envelope.

Sampling Types

*Plant-Based Collection

  • Identify an area around the plant that is halfway between the stem and the dripline.
  • Select a minimum of 7 random spots within this area for sampling.

*Zone-Based Collection

  • Divide the total area into zones (i.e., areas with similar plants growing, similar sunlight exposure, similar soil properties, etc.).
  • Select a minimum of 7 random spots within a single zone for sampling.

 

(sampling larger areas may require more than one Dig-it Yourself Soil Health Test Kit or extra bags which can be purchased separately).

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I order a DIY Soil Health Test Kit?

DIY Soil Health Test Kits can be purchased easily online. Forms of payment accepted are Credit Card and Pay Pal.

How much soil do I need to send?

Collect a minimum of 5 samples, about the size of an apple core each.

DIY Soil Health Test Kits contain all the tools and instructions you need to collect and send samples.

Can I send wet soil?

Please send us dry to moist soil; not wet soil.

 

Do a squeeze test: take a handful of soil and squeeze tightly.

If water drips = no.

If water drips between closed fingers = no.

If soil remains in a clump when you open hand = no.

 

If moisture collects between closed fingers = yes.

If soil residue remains on hand and can be brushed away (dry) = yes.

If soil retains shape of clump but breaks apart easily = yes.

 

  • Contact us for special instructions to send aquatic or riparian soil samples.

Can I send compost?

Ab-soil-utely!

Collect pre-mature compost samples for assessment (remove organic debris).

Collect mature compost samples for assessment.

 

  • Consider a compost maturity test to know if your compost is ready to be used.

Can I send manure?

No.

Use the manure in your compost following proper composting steps.

Collect mature compost samples for assessment.

 

  •  Consider a compost maturity test to know if your compost is ready to be used

What is the difference between the Qualitative and Quantitative assessment?

Soil Health Qualitative Test (Ql) is useful for new gardens and home landscape projects.

Know if your soil is healthy for plants and learn how to improve the health of your soil.

 

Soil Health Quantitative Test (Qt) is useful for organic gardeners and gardeners who want to help reduce climate change.

Know your soil health PLUS know how well your soil is performing and what would grow better there. Learn how to improve your soil health to grow nutrient-dense foods.

 

Some soil microbes are dormant and others are active. Active soil microbes perform the ecological functions necessary for soil health.

Dormant soil microbes may indicate poor soil conditions.

Soil Health Quantitative Test (Qt) permits active and dormant soil microbes to be distinguished.

Dig-It Yourself

Soil Health Test Kit

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