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While the mentioned analyzers and sets of analysis are invaluable, there are arguments that speak clearly for a professional analysis by a laboratory. The first argument is the same as that with the help of a laboratory, you can obtain absolutely accurate analysis results. In addition, a laboratory can also determine those analysis values that can not be determined with commercially available analyzers or analysis sets. Particular mention should be made here of any toxins in the soil, such as residues of lubricating oil, gasoline or kerosene or tar and the like, which at the latest in the case of horticulture would represent a not to be underestimated risk to one's own health. For this very reason, it is also more than advisable to commission a laboratory for soil analysis before buying the land. In addition, laboratories believe they can use soil analysis to make sound recommendations on fertilization or other soil improvement measures.
Tip: If you want to have absolute certainty without having to rush yourself into expenses, you should have the initial analysis done by a savvy laboratory and from then on, carry out your own follow-up analyzes at regular intervals of two to three years using a suitable device or set.
How are soil samples taken correctly?
Before the soil analysis is the proper sampling, which can be taken in the hands even in the case of a professional laboratory analysis. Ideally, this should be done using a special auger that is usually provided by the analytical laboratory. If you would like to carry out the analysis yourself, you can also use a conventional spade for sampling. Per garden section (eg lawn, utility and ornamental garden), should be taken in about ten samples. The depth of the sampling depends directly on the type of garden use. In the case of heavily used kitchen gardens, the soil sample should extend to a depth of 20 to 30 cm. By contrast, a depth of 10 to 15 cm should be sufficient for the lawn and the ornamental garden. In the case of woody plants and so-called permanent crops, in turn, a depth of more than 90 cm is advised. After removal, the samples of the garden sections concerned are mixed together and finally analyzed according to the relevant information from the device manufacturer or Setanbieters. Of course, the samples could instead be analyzed individually, but this would make little sense in terms of a nationwide swell.
Tip: If you want to carry out the soil analysis yourself, but shy away from the considerable costs of having your own drilling stick, you can simply borrow one from a nursery or a garden club or hire one.
The professional handling of drill bits
Drillsticks are driven vertically into the ground using a plastic hammer to the desired depth. Then he is gently pulled out again with a slight turn. If the core should be damaged, it is recommended to take a new sample. Up to a drilling depth of 30 cm, the entire core can be used for soil analysis. In the case of deep soil analysis in the case of permanent crops and woody plants, however, it is recommended to subdivide the drill core into equal parts with a maximum length of 30 cm and to analyze each part separately.
Submit the soil samples to the laboratory
The soil samples are packed in bags in the quantity required by the laboratory and labeled with all important data. The key data include the exact date and the depth of the sampling. In addition, the type of use of the relevant garden section should be noted. It is also advisable to provide information regarding the values to be analyzed.
frequently asked Questions
When is the best time for a soil analysis?
The initial analysis should be carried out before the actual garden planning, so that the garden can be optimally divided according to the prevailing conditions and can still take any measures for soil optimization. Follow-up analyzes can then be done either in the spring before sowing or in autumn after harvest.
How expensive is a professional lab analysis?
The cost of a soil analysis depends primarily on its scope in general terms and the particular characteristics to which the soil is to be examined, in particular. Apart from that, prices can vary more or less from one laboratory to another.
What do analyzers cost?
Simple analyzers for the determination of the pH value are available for just under 10 to 20 euros.On the other hand, analyzers that detect more than the pure pH can cost hundreds of dollars, so it may be better to consult a professional lab.