In addressing the health of any soil, we first assess its biological quality. To get your soil to our lab, we offer two options: prepare and ship samples yourself, or we’ll pay a visit to perform all necessary sampling (fees, distance limitations may apply). Foothill Biological is always glad to offer on-site coaching (hourly rates apply). Just shoot us a request, and we’ll reserve some time.
Download our soil submission form here.
Download a sample report here.
Sampling Your Soil
The first thing you need is a coring tool – a large-size apple corer works well. Always collect samples when soil is moist, preferably when moisture has been present for several days. Clear any surface material from a small patch (a square-inch will do), and insert the corer. Twist and pull up, and you should have a 'core' of two to three inches. Shake it gently into a resealable plastic bag.
To examine biology in the root zone of a particular plant, sample from midway between its stem/trunk and dripline. Pull three cores from around the plant (or grouping of plants), and combine for a single sample. To survey a broader area (pasture, crop field, garden, etc.) separate the area into zones – based on geography, prevailing conditions, variance in dominant plant type, plant health, etc. – and sample each area.
To help ensure your microbes will have plenty of oxygen en route:
- A sample's volume should not exceed one-third of the bag's capacity.
- When closing the bag, leave a corner slightly open.
Choose a name for the sample (say, “orchard NW corner 1”), and write it:
- on the bag with a permanent marker
- on the sample submission form (link above)
Shipping your sample
Arrange samples gently in a sturdy cardboard box. If there is extra space, add packaging material to prevent jostling en route.
Add a completed submission form with payment (or pay with credit card below), and ship overnight to:
Soil Health Services
111 Bank St. #188
Grass Valley, CA 95945
To help ensure prompt processing, alert us with an e-mail before shipping.
Any questions, just drop us a line or give us a call.
To pay with a credit card, click here:
Or call us, at (530) 648-0694.