How Deep Are Your Turf Soil Samples?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DavidNJ, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 514

    Rutgers says to use 6". UMinn and UMass say 3" and 3-4" respectively for established lawns and 6" for plantings. The UMinn and UMass numbers seem to make more sense although I haven't found any paper to read or person to talk to who can elaborate on the reasoning.

    What do you do and why?
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    most of the soil activity is in the top 12" of the no real reason to go below 12.

    I use a soil probe jam it in, knock off the top inch or so...and go from there..
  3. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 514

    12"? I was thinking the issue was between 3-4" where they may be turf root growth and 6". Wouldn't going down to 12" distort the results with soil that doesn't affect the grass?
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Keep in mind, these recommendation are typically for local soils.

    Agreed, given the soil allows for rooting to that depth or beyond. This however does not mean depths beyond 12" are not important to measure in some cases.

    Generally 0 - 6" (or 8") comprises one sample set, 6-12" the next, etc... That said, once you move past the 0-6" depth, soil type, crop and management practices will typically dictate how/what sampling is done. For turf and a deep soil, 0-6 or 8" would be the typical sample depth, although one can make a case for sampling the 6-12" depth was well.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  5. bmoorefield

    bmoorefield LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    I usually go 4-6" for a turf soil sample and about 10" for a bed sample.

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