Soil analysis: It’s use and interpretation

Event Date : March 16, 2015

Field lab at Tolhurst Organic, Hardwick Gardens, Whitchurch on Thames Pangbourne RG8 7RA 10:00 to 16:00

Aims of this field lab

Field labs are at the heart of the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme. Farmers and growers test new approaches, share existing best practice and sharpen their problem-solving skills. The field labs are on-farm events, open to all – organic and otherwise.

Farmers and growers today have a number of options to assess the fertility and health of their soils, ranging from spade diagnosis and earthworm counts to measuring respiration rates of soil life etc. A number of
commercial laboratories offer various tests to assess soil fertility and health, often using different techniques and methods.

This workshop aims to compare different approaches in practice. Farmers and growers will speak about their experience in soil analysis, which methods they use and why, and how the results can be interpreted. The workshop will be followed by a field visit to demonstrate and discuss different soil health assessments.


9.30 am Arrival and coffee/tea
10 am Introductions

  • Background of workshop
  • Plans for practical trials
  • Participants experiences
  • Identification of trial hosts

1 pm Organic lunch (£ 12)
2 pm Field walk Demonstration/discussion of soil assessment tools
4 pm End of the workshop

Follow-up trials

This workshop can be followed-up by two field days during the summer.

These aim to directly compare soil analysis methods on a number of farms, using for example the same soil to compare different approaches of assessment. During the workshop on the 16th of March, we will identify who is able to participate and contribute: soil sampling and lab analysis. If 4-5 farms can be identified, the field days will then be set-up during the summer/ autumn of 2015.

These follow-up events will involve the demonstration and direct comparison of different soil assessment methods, various lab analyses and programmes. The field events will highlight most effective, practical and reliable strategies for soil fertility and health assessment in practice.

Get involved!

We invite you to join this workshop and contribute to the trials later in the year! Either by sharing your own experiences and soil analysis results in the group, or by testing and evaluating different methods and lab tests if they are suitable for your specific needs!

Results and experiences will be shared and discussed in the field lab group, where you can profit from various opinions, input and feedback to evaluate your own methods.


The field lab is free, but there is a charge for lunch (£12). To book please click here or contact Astrid Toner.
Tel: 0117 314 5100

Download event flyer here (664kb pdf file)


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