The soil sampling kit provides all you need to submit your samples to our laboratory. The sampling kits are supplied free of charge and can be ordered online. Alternatively, the kits are available at NSW DPI district offices or by contacting Customer Service.
The kits are easy to use:
Remember a soil test is only as good as the care taken in sampling. Tools and equipment should be clean prior to sampling.
Look at the soils in the area you intend to sample. Submit a separate soil sample from each soil type (e.g. clay, loam or sand) and from paddocks that have been managed differently, because these factors affect fertiliser needs.
For each sample, thoroughly mix a minimum of 20 soil cores (see following paragraph) in one bucket (the more cores taken the more reliable the sample). Fill the container supplied in the kit with the sample from the bucket. If you have collected multiple samples you can submit your samples in 500 gram bags to the laboratory. Make sure samples are clearly labelled.
Soil cores should be collected at 0-10 cm depth. Avoid collecting the surface material such as leaf or organic matter. Deeper cores may need to be taken for the investigation of subsurface acidity and salinity or for larger horticultural crops (please contact your advisor for this advice).
Once the samples have been collected they should be sent as soon as possible to the laboratory for analysis.
A map and written plan of the soil sampling area is essential for interpreting results and any subsequent testing. It is recommended that soil cores be collected along a fixed transect (e.g. 1 and 2). This method allows for re-testing and better monitoring of changes in fertility than random sampling. In areas where tree crops are planted samples should be collected along rows.
To obtain representative samples, do not sample from unusual sites such as: