How to Sample Soil for Testing

Whether you need to test soil for building and construction planning or for garden projects, you’ll need a soil test kit. But how can you accurately collect soil samples for testing? Read our tips to find out.

Who is a soil test kit suitable for?

Soil testing kits can be used at home to test the soil in your garden, or for commercial use in order to effectively plan building, construction or agricultural projects.

What advantages are there to soil sample kits?

There are many advantages to soil sample kits. These include:

  • Soil sampling gives you greater insight into the contents and structure of your soil, enabling you to effectively plan
  • Do-it-yourself soil sample kits are easy to use
  • Results are fast, so no need to put projects on hold for long
  • Soil is tested in a professional laboratory that is UKAS accredited
  • You’ll receive an accurate sample report which helps to classify your soil
  • Soil sampling is eco-friendly and helps to reduce your carbon footprint as well as your costs

Tips for collecting soil samples

Choose and order the right soil test kit

Identify the type of soil test kit that you will need. Are you testing the moisture content? Are you testing for soil pollutants? Or do you simply need to classify the soil for waste disposal purposes? If you’re unsure what type you need, Soil Lab’s experts are on hand to help.

Check soil kit contents and read the instructions

Once you’ve chosen and ordered your test kit, check that all the kit contents are there. Each kit should contain:

  • A sample log sheet
  • 2 x 250ml sample jars
  • Gloves
  • Sitemap indicator
  • Postal label for returning to the lab

Read the instructions carefully to correctly collect the sample.

Collect soil samples

Carefully collect soil samples and fill the jars. Here are some tips for soil sampling:

  • Always use clean tools to avoid cross contamination of the samples
  • Use the gloves supplied to also avoid contamination
  • Remove leaves, stones or roots from the soil sample
  • Collect a sample from an area that you suspect may be contaminated for more accurate results
  • Fill the jars completely to ensure there is an adequate amount of soil for testing
  • Avoid getting the soil sample on the outside of the jars

Seal in the jar and complete form

When the jars are filled to the top, screw the lid on tightly to avoid the sample spilling out.

Fill out the paperwork which helps to give more information about the area for analysis. You’ll be required to provide the date and time of the sample; sample ID; site details along with the sitemap indicator; company name; and sample log sheet.

Package in the box and send in the post

Place the soil sample jars in the box provided, again checking there are no contaminants on the jars or in the box. Ensure that lids are on tightly.

Use the postal label provided and affix to the bottom of the box. Once you’re ready for collection, contact the courier who will arrange to collect at a convenient time.

Get in touch

Soil sampling is quick and easy with the Soil Lab’s testing kit which can be ordered online.

We’re more than happy to help if you require any further information on the soil tests. Get in touch via our contact form, call us on 08450 092 050 or send us an email 

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