What can you expect from a soil-lab assessment?
When you send in your sample/s, they are carefully prepared and observed under a compound light microscope. We use the microscope practise of 'shadowing' to help assess the sample. Shadowing helps us count the organisms which would otherwise not be able to be seen.
Dr Elaine Ingham pioneered the soil food web and she discovered that the biology in the soil have a crucial symbiotic relationship with plants. She observed that plants were their healthiest when the levels of biology were at a certain count and ratio. Depending what it is you want to grow, the ratios of bacteria to fungi will differ. The microscope allows us to visibly see all these organisms which will then to tell us the story of what is happening in your soil.
Bacteria and Fungi Ratios
The ratio of fungus to bacteria can to show us at which successional stage your soil is at. For example, let's say you want to grow kale, brassicas or mustards etc, in this case a higher bacteria to fungi ratio is needed. Perhaps you want to grow grasses or different types of vegetables, if so, then higher fungal ratios would be needed. As we move towards growing shrubs, trees and forests, then even higher fungal ratios are needed. A biological sample report can determine the successional stage of your soil by calculating the Fungus to Bacteria ratio.
What kind of organisms will be counted and analysed?
Protozoa (Flagellates, Amoebae, Ciliates)
Oomycetes (disease causing fungi)
(Organism examples under the microscope)
The presence or lack of the above organisms and their biomass can tell us so much about your soil in terms of its health and production potentiality.
Click the links below to learn more about how the Soil Food Web can;
What will you receive?
After the analysis has been performed using the microscope, I enter the data into spread sheet that creates a full estimated biological report similar to the example shown on the right. I will also give you an explanation of what the report is telling us, so that you can then amend your soils if need be.
For full instructions on how to collect and send your samples, and to understand how many samples to send for your needs, please follow the link below.