How to Make Your Own Soil Sampling Tools

Updated July 20, 2017

Before you can adequately fertilise or water your lawn and garden you must collect soil samples. There are many different ways to make your own soil sampling tools. Depending on the kind of sampling you plan, you can improvise from existing tools and materials to create an adequate array of equipment. Soil sampling tools need to be easy to clean so soil from previous samples does not become a contaminate. Make sure any metal is free of rust so it does not create a rough surface. The most useful soil sampling tool is small shovel.

Use a vice to bend a 2-foot section of rebar 45 degrees from the remaining 4 feet.

Bend 1 foot of the short piece of rebar back on itself so that it is perpendicular to the 4-foot section. This is the handle for your soil probe.

File the end of the long section of rebar into a point.

Wrap the two ends of the handle with duct tape for padding. With a soil probe you will be able to sample the density of your soil by feeling for how compacted it is at different depths.

Break the point off of your knife with pliers and a hammer.

Dull the blade of your knife by rubbing it against a rock. When working in a soil pit you will not need the knife to be sharp. A sampling knife is used to wedge out sections of dry soil so its texture and structure can be observed.

Wrap reflective tape around the handle of your knife. This will save you time finding your sampling knife if you drop it while working in a soil pit.

Things You'll Need

  • 6-foot piece of 1/2-inch rebar
  • Vice
  • Metal file
  • Duct tape
  • Cheap bowie knife
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Reflective tape
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About the Author

Steve Stakland is a professional writer holding a Bachelor of Science in horticulture as well as a Bachelor of Science in philosophy from Brigham Young University. Stakland holds a master's degree in soil science from Utah State University and is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy.