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A Good Soil Sampling Probe?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by sulston, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I'm looking to get a good soil sampling probe/tube, there's a lot of choices out there when it comes to total probe size as well as sample length and width. Just wondering what the preference is of those of you who do soil sampling on a regular basis. Thanks a lot.
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    The one I use I bought from Gemplers for around $60+/-. It stainless steel and has a cutaway in the side to help remove cores. I am not sure of the total probe lenght but I seldom go deeper than aboout 6-7 inches.
  3. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Hey thanks a lot mudstopper, that Gemplers had a lot of the probes I was looking at, I think I'm going to go with an Oakfield one-piece 36" probe with a footstep, and it takes a 9"long X 13/16"wide sample. It should do the trick. Just curious but when you send your samples in to get tested what all tests do you get done?
  4. dallen

    dallen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    You need to follow that question up with "what do you do with the information?" Having all these numbers won't do you, or your customers, one bit of good unless you have a way to use them.
  5. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I appreciate the advice but how do you have any idea that I wouldn't know what to do with the info. By your response it sure sounds like you think I'm an idiot, yet you have no idea who I am or what I know. And on top of that I wouldn't ask that of him even if I didn't know. I would do the research on my own and if I had any specific questions about it after I had learned what I could, then I might ask him. Simply asking mudstopper what tests he gets only requires a relatively short answer, asking what to do with that info would require a much more detailed, in-depth response which I'm not about to ask of him. This is an amazing site to gain knowledge from those with more experience, especially for newbies, however I also think one needs to do a little research on their own on the subject of their inquiry before looking for a "free ride" from someone who has gained all their knowledge through hard work and experience. Just my opinion though, and the way I prefer to do things. Basically I was only looking to see what tests he gets done other than your basic soil test which offers testing for Organic matter,P,K,Mg,Ca,Na,ammonium acetate,pH,aluminum,saturation of cation elements including sodium, calculated C.E.C saturation %P,%K/mg ratio. I can also get Bioassay,Biodiversity,nematode analysis, etc. I just wondered if he got any of these other tests done ever and if he found them to be of a great benefit and worth the money or more a waste of money and could do without. So please dallen, do not treat me like an idiot and tell me what questions I should ask, if you have something productive to tell me, by all means, but I take nothing from your comment other than being slightly offended. I am new to organic lawn care and am just getting into it, but I have spent a lot of time on learning about it and I do know a little bit.
  6. Armadillolawncare

    Armadillolawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    I got one like Mudstopper described from Lesco. Its stainless steel, cutaway side and its about 3' feet long. If I recall they had 2 different lengths and I think it cost arounf 40 or 50 bucks.
  7. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    We use A&L labs and get the S1 and S3 tests.....

    For Bioassays you might want to look into the soil foodweb.
  8. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Good to know, thanks a lot. A&L is the lab I have near me where I'll be taking all my samples also. I was real curious as to how many people get the bioassay/biodiversity(not really sure the difference in those two) tests done as they're the real expensive ones, about $200 per test if I recall. Thanks for the info guys!
  9. dallen

    dallen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    sulston, I didn't mean to offend. Never, ever make assumptions. I was simply attempting to make a point, and as most of my experience is in mainstream agriculture, I probably came across the wrong way. I've seen so many soil test results, taken from samples pulled from very elaborate grids, where the only number even looked at is pH and then they simply average the numbers together. A well defined soil testing program offers tons of information. I, for one, would like to sit down with muddstopper and go over some soil tests. I am best when I act like a student, rather than a teacher. And, I'm sure you know a whole lot more than I when it comes to turf fertility and soil science. Now that we have that out of the way, want to buy some poultry manure-based, nutrient enriched and biologically stimulated fert? Interested in purchasing the manufacturing plant? I'm tired of beating my head against the wall.
  10. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    No worries dallen, I appreciate you clearing that up. It did come across the wrong way, to me anyways, but I hear where you're coming from. It's easy to take some samples and get them tested, knowing what to do with that info is definitely the hard part. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about organics and soil science because as of Sept. 2008 pesticides will be completely banned in my city, and the list just keeps growing here in Ontario of towns and cities that are following suit. It's just a matter of time here before organics or at least "pesticide free" lawns will be the only option in the business. So I'm just trying to gain all the knowledge I possibly can because if I'm going to offer organic lawn care I damn well better know how to do it right, which is why to this day my company has yet to offer it. I've been doing the research when I have time for close to two years now but I'm not prepared to begin until I know exactly what I'm doing. Anyways, I'm good on the poultry manure-based, nutrient enriched and biologically stimulated fert, and the manufacturing plant too. Think I'll stick to lawn care, although it can sometimes result in me beating my head against the wall also so don't feel too bad. Take care.

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