Spading Ease

Use the spade to get instant feedback on the soil structure (its “tightness”). Better structured soils will spade more easily than poorer soils. Not appropriate for comparing between fields with different soil types (e.g clay vs sand) or where stones are present. Good for trends over time in the same field.

What to record

  • A score or 1-5 where:
    • 1. ‘OMG’ – Very difficult – Both feet, jumping and wiggling
    • 2. Difficult – Both feet and wiggling
    • 3. Moderate – Both feet, no wiggling
    • 4. Easy – Some resistance – One foot with wiggling
    • 5. ‘Like butter’ – Very easy – No resistance – Full insertion with one foot in a single motion
  • Photos


  • Digging spade

How to do the test

1. Whilst digging out soil for other tests observe how easy/difficult it is to dig into the ground (try to use a standard technique when digging out soil).

2. Record in the app on a scale of 1-5 (see above for ‘what to record’)