Soil Sampling

The proper soil sampling is of particular importance in the analytical process, since the respective measures for improving or preserving soil fertility are derived on the basis of the analyzed soil samples. Only a representative sample can provide sound analytical results! Sampling should therefore be well prepared and carried out as follows:

  • Definition of pedological homogenous subareas (based on soil maps, yield mappings, aerial images, own experiences, etc.).

  • Selection of subareas to sample (depending on area extension and question of interest, the priorities may be set).

  • Specification of the sampling circle (about 10 m to 150 m in diameter, depending on area extension of subarea). Documentation of the midpoint (e.g. by GPS, documentation on a map).

  • Extracting a composite sample within the sampling circle (spade, sampling devices, sample driller, 10 to 15 individual samples). Caution: nickel-plated/chrome-plated/coated tools may affect the test results. The sampling depth is based on genetic soil horizons and not on fixed depth levels.

  • Mixing (“Homogenizing”) the 10 to 15 individual samples in a clean bucket to create a representative composite sample, sort out “disturbing elements” (e.g. parts of plants, animals, etc.). Soil chunks should be reduced to smaller pieces before homogenisation.

  • Filling of a sample bag with about 1.5 kg of homogenized sample material (you can order sample bags directly from us; unused freezer bags are also suitable).

  • Labelling of the sample bag.

  • Completing the assignment form.


For the Resampling, please note additionally:

  • Selection of the sampling area: the same sampling circle of the homogeneous subarea should be selected as for the Initial Sampling.

  • Selection of sampling time: ideally, resampling should take place at a comparable moment/season to Initial Sampling (spring, summer, autumn).

  • Selection of sampling depth: as for Initial Sampling.

Site composed of 3 soil types

Incorrect soil sampling

Correct soil sampling

The Proper Timing of Soil Sampling

For acute questions or problems, soil samples can be taken at any moment. However, to systemically assess soil fertility, the soil should be sampled in a state of dynamic equilibrium (steady state). Dynamic equilibrium is established 6 to 8 weeks after the application of management measures (e.g. tillage, input of mineral/organic substances). Favourable moments for soil sampling are often before or after harvesting (before stubble breaking) and in spring (at least 6°C soil temperature for approx. 2 weeks). The soil must not be too soggy, the moisture level should allow passage of the ground. For the resampling, a similar timing should be chosen with regard to the environmental conditions (soil temperature, soil moisture etc.).

Temporary Storage of Soil Samples

If it is not possible to ship the sample immediately, the sample should be stored as follows:

  • Unsealed sample stored in a dust-free, dry room at room temperature (storage up to 1 month). Caution: pets and rodents may cause contamination of the sample.
  • Sample sealed in the freezer (storage up to 3 months)

Shipment of the Sample

Close the sample carefully and ship it along with the assignment form to the delivery address below. Shipping should not exceed 2 to 3 days. You’re also kindly welcomed to deliver the samples in person.

Delivery address:

TB Unterfrauner GmbH
Umseerstraße 39
3040 Neulengbach OT Tausenblum

The results are usually available no later than 3 weeks after receipt of the soil sample in the laboratory of TB Unterfrauner GmbH.

Would you like to request a Soil Analysis?