Topsoil Depth

A crude measure of soil health. Indicates the extent to which the soil has been developed by biological action. Typically top soil (or upper portion of the soil profile) will differ in appearance from the subsoil (parent material) and often be darker or more textured. The deeper the top soil, the further roots can grow and the more water and nutrients will be available.

What to record

  • Depth of the top soil in cm.
  • Photos


  • Spade or soil sampler
  • Ruler/tape measure

How to do the test

1. Locate your chosen sample site – you can use the GPS mapping feature on the app to do this if you’ve recorded the sample locations previously.

2. Dig a smallish hole as deep as you can – up to 60cm, or to combine with other standard spade tests (2ocm x 20cm).

3. Insert ruler into hole and record in app at what depth the soil first changes colour and/or texture.

4. Take a photo using app