DIY Soil  Samples

Doing it yourself is certainly an option even if that means we need to come and help out with the first one.  Whether you are an existing customer or a newbie it won’t matter, we will help anyone get underway.

As you can imagine, collecting samples can be time consuming especially if the area is significant so any help is gratefully received. We do lots and lots of samples on hundreds and hundreds of hectares of farmland, it really is the starting point of understanding what to do next in lifting productive capacity. 


Building knowledge through soil sampling is a great way to better understand and interpret your soil asset. The following are things to look for and ask yourself questions as you manoeuvre around your property. Take a spade with you also, sometimes a larger hole will provide a better picture of the status but still use the soil-sampling tool for the sampling job because you can accurately measure the same depth every time.

  • Learn how hard your soil is and why, eg compaction, short of lime or fertiliser, weather related.
  • Look for signs of life eg biology
    • Worms
    • Parasites
    • Beetles
    • Biology. Most biology you won't be able to see but there are generally millions in every sample you take however often not enough and thats something we aim to fix with the right fertilisers.
  • Smell your soil, does it smell anaerobic (overly smelly rather than sweetish)
    • Perhaps it is too wet and cant breath therefore needs oxygen so beneficial microbes can get to work again
    • Anaerobic conditions in soil affect plant productivity as well as organic matter and nutrient dynamics. 
  • Review root structure
    • How far down are the roots (what length) 50mm or 100+
    • Are there many roots extending from the plant or just a few
  • Is your soil well structured
    • Does it fall apart easily
    • Does it hold together nicely
    • Does dirt fall from roots or hang on
  • Is your soil cracked and open
  • Do more weeds than crops / pasture etc grow
  • Does the colour of your pasture / crop look unnatural eg yellow

Taking a soil sample can be the beginning of understanding a new world and observing more closely many of the signs of what might be happening beneath. After the soil sample is analysed and recommendation complete, the results will further assist knowledge capacity, your Landco rep will happily discuss results.


If you contact us to begin the Selfie process, we will send, deliver, or you can collect, a kit encompassing:

  • Instructions
  • A soil probe
  • Plastic bags to place your samples in
  • An envelope for you to send the samples to Hortigro, we will then courier them to the Lab for analysis.

Note: Soil probes can be purchased or borrowed. Each sample needs to be separated and identified as to where it came from eg paddock name and rough area. If you want to continue the measurement process, it’s important that you return (within reason) to the same spot each time a sample is taken and its possible you may take more than one sample from a paddock particularly if you think there is a problem.

Selfie Instructions 

See our Selfie Instructions here

DON’T FORGET that we also do leaf analysis. If you would like a tool and instructions to complete this task, simply give us a call - 09 237 1 777.

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