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White Gardens
02-29-2012, 11:54 AM
Trying to figure out a good overall price to throw at customers when they ask me how much it costs for me to take soil samples.

I do realize that it mainly comes down to how many samples, type of analysis and time involved.

So basically a ballpark. I'm thinking right now about 30 dollars a sample, with a minimum of two samples taken.

Thanks.

Nick

Kiril
02-29-2012, 11:59 AM
what do you mean by "two samples"?

White Gardens
02-29-2012, 01:24 PM
what do you mean by "two samples"?

I don't want to go to a site and only take one sample. So if only one sample is taken, then it would be higher to cover my fuel/time expense.

Basically the more samples, the better the pricing due to volume.

....

andersman02
02-29-2012, 08:56 PM
they way i was taught in soils was to take 5 different samples for a typical lawn (up to 10,000 sq ft ish) about a cup each, mix into a bag and take a cup from that and place into the soil sample bag

http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/Scans/2009%20Lawn%20and%20Garden.pdf

that might help

i think they charge 7$ or so, depending on how far away the residence was or what they want me to test, id probably do around 30-40$ per test w/ an analysis explaining what everything on the test meant

just me personally

Kiril
02-29-2012, 09:13 PM
I don't want to go to a site and only take one sample. So if only one sample is taken, then it would be higher to cover my fuel/time expense.

Basically the more samples, the better the pricing due to volume.

....

The proper way to sample is to take between 10-20+ cores and mix those making a composite sample. The bigger the area, the more samples you should take. There are also other factors to consider when delineating areas that should be sampled independently. One site is almost never a single composite sample.

So what you mean by a "sample" is important here, not only in pricing, but in getting meaningful results.

White Gardens
03-01-2012, 06:57 AM
Very good points and thanks.

I think I get hung up on the ag type soil sampling where you just mark spots on a map and then sample individual areas getting multiple readings across the entire area.

Basically like using GPS to mark in a field to get the variances from one section to a next, but I need to realize it's a lawn, not a 160acre field and an average would give me better test results.

..

Kiril
03-01-2012, 09:45 AM
Composite sampling is the norm in Ag. What you are referring to is gird sampling, which is still composite sampling within each grid unit. While there are good reasons to take and test discrete samples, it is generally too cost prohibitive, particularly in Ag. For your purposes, look to the sites hydrozones to define areas that will likely need independent testing.

White Gardens
03-01-2012, 10:17 AM
Composite sampling is the norm in Ag. What you are referring to is gird sampling,

Gird. :confused::laugh:

Generally when a customer request a soil sample, it's generally in specific areas that seem to not be performing as well as the rest of their lawn or garden, so I've always just taken one sample in those areas.

I do this time around have a couple of customers this year that just want to know what's going on in their lawn, so I will definitively be doing a composite sample to have a good over-all average, with maybe a separation in certain sections.

So thanks for pointing that out to me, and I'll be using this method soon. Thumbs Up

....

Kiril
03-01-2012, 10:37 AM
WG .... did you forget this thread?

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=3047922

You need to check with the lab what their requirements are. Most labs also have a sampling kit you can purchase.

Generally this is what you want to do.

1) For general sampling in a 20 cm (6-8") potentially effective root zone build a composite sample from multiple samples. You want to take 10-20 samples to the desired depth in a given area that has similar soil properties, topography, and management regime, etc....

There are cases where you may want to independently sample different depths (i.e. 0"-2", 2"-4", 4"-6", etc...). If you have distinct horizon change in 8" (other than O to A), or if you have a need to manage nutrients differently at given depths, you may want to test them separately.

For very general purposes in a relatively homogeneous soil, your core samples should be 0-8" depth, discarding any organic matter at the top of the core, and very well mixed.

2) Throughly mix all the samples together in a plastic bucket, glass or stainless steel bowl and take 300-500 grams (~ 10-20 oz) from that mix.

3) For your purposes, air dry your composite sample and grind it up so it will pass through a 2mm (#10) sieve (minimum).

Note: There are some very good reasons for not drying samples. You need to decide what is appropriate based on your needs and what the lab requires for submitted samples.

4) Send it to the lab as soon as it is ready in an appropriate sample bag or container. Do NOT sit on the sample.

Make sure you record the appropriate data for the samples you send so you know what they are for.

White Gardens
03-01-2012, 10:54 AM
Thanks, I did forget, or never re-checked the thread after I posted.

....

Kiril
03-01-2012, 11:03 AM
Thanks, I did forget, or never re-checked the thread after I posted.

Note, not all labs will require samples be dried and passed through a 2mm sieve. Best to check with the lab on how they expect samples and in what amounts. If they don't charge for drying and sieving, then don't do it. Just let the samples dry enough so you can throughly mix them for your composite, that is, unless you plan on doing your own set of tests independent of the lab.