We use a combination of an electronic cone penetrometer and a core sampler to measure soil compaction across the root zone. Compaction is the compression of soil, resulting in an increase in bulk density. It is brought about by excessive loading of the soil surface in wet conditions or by continued loading by traffic. Compaction reduces porosity, hydraulic conductivity, drainage and aeration within the soil. This reduces the availability of essential plant nutrients, often leading to the decline of the vegetation that it supports.
Using a core sampler enables us to extract undisturbed samples of soil. These are taken, primarily, to measure the bulk density of soils. This information enables us to determine the extent of the compaction and whether it is so severe that the soil conditions are no longer conducive for root growth.
The use of an auger enables us to obtain soil samples from a depth of up to approximately 2m. These samples can be used for a range of analysis including:
In addition to the above, we are currently investigating soil testing to analyse soil microbiology, in particular the ratio of bacteria to fungi, as it is believed that the correct balance of beneficial mirco-organsims can keep plant pathogens at bay as well as increase the availability of nutrients. If you require soil testing for this purpose, or would like to participate in research to assess the efficacy of compost tea, please contact us.
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