Soil Monitoring Guide

Below you will find all the information you need to choose where to do tests, how often, equipment needed and exactly how to do each test.
All tests are designed so that they are easy to remember, so you should not need to take these instructions into the field.
These materials and methodologies have been developed for use with Soilmentor in collaboration with the PFLA and soil health advisor Niels Corfield.

1.0 VESS – Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure

1.1 Earthworm Count

1.2 Slake (Wet Aggregate Stability)

1.3 Infiltration Rate

1.4 Legume Nodules

1.4 Rhizosheaths

1.4 Spading Ease

1.5 Topsoil Depth

1.6 Probe Depth

2.0 % Bare Soil

2.0 % Broadleaf, Grasses, Undesirables Cover

2.0 No. Broadleaf, Grass, Undesirable Species

2.0 Sward Density

2.1 Brix (%) & (Fuzzy)

2.2 Sward Stick

2.3 Plate Meter

2.4 Sap pH

3.0 Fence Post Insertion

3.1 Penetrometer

3.2 Soil pH

3.3 Biodiversity recording

3.4 Dung beetle count

3.5 Dung quality

3.6 Time taken for dung to break down

Don’t think you’ve got time to go out and dig holes? Think differently!

Equipment – 4 Steps to Make a Quadrat

Equipment – How to make an infiltration rate tube

Equipment List

Soil Test Challenge

Soils Advisor – Niels Corfield

When & How Often Should I Do Tests?

Where do I do Each Test and How Many Times per Field?

Which Fields Should I Monitor?

Which tests should I do?

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