Woods End Laboratories

Healthy Soil

Healthy Science

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Analyzing Soil Quality and Soil Health

Since 1975 Woods End has offered alternative soil testing stressing soil biological functioning. In response to the growing interest, we have upgraded Woods End’s traditional set of soil tests to form an integrated protocol.  The protocol stresses:

  • Minimal soil disturbance in preparing samples for testing (soil roller used instead of grinders)
  • Measurement of key physical traits like aggregate stability and water capacity
  • Extraction of nutrients with less invasive chemicals mimicking soil functioning
  • Use of biological assays to measure soil potential

The overall approach is represented by the “quality triangle” of chemical, physical and biological traits measured and reported as a unified test. The test compares to other protocols which also emphasize the interaction of these factors.

The N-P-K report takes into account soluble nutrients and those expected to become available due to the healthy functioning of the soil system.  The report is designed to save costs on nutrient fertilization, and to provide suggestions to improving soil health.

Woods End’s “Soil Health Toolbox”

  • Accounts for soil microbial biomass, with a view that this is very nutrient-relevant;
  • Evaluates nutrient mineralization potential, the core of the nutrient supply mechanism for plants
  • Represents nutrients likely to be “plant relevant” from lighter-weight extractants
  • Evaluates quality of the pool of soil organic carbon.

Soil Health “MINI”:

  • A new basic health test meant to be a companion to common soil nutrient analyses obtained elsewhere or through your favorite soil lab. The mini adds information about biological and bio-physical traits.  Included are Solvita tests, CO2-Burst, SLAN, Water Stable Aggregates Water soluble carbon (WSOC). $30 per sample.

 The Regular Soil Health Test:

  • Formerly called the Premium Test- it includes: nutrients in Haney H3A extract (Ca, Mg, P, K, Na, Fe, Al) plus Solvita CO2, Solvita SLAN and Aggregate Stability. Water soluble carbon (WSOC), nitrate, soil organic matter, pH and buffer-pH. $55 per sample.

What you get:

  • A comprehensive report with a Fertility Score and a Soil Health Score. The standardized Score uses an open source formula. The fertility score shows the expected total available supply (based on expected crops) integrated with the soil quality score.
  • Interpretation Guide: Each customer receives a full interpretation guideline with the report.
  • Please provide the following:
    1. The soil sample: (wet or dry) in a quart sized ziplock bag, with the date of the sample and the intended crops.  If the location is different than the zipcode on the order, please provide specific GPS or sample zipcode information which we use to map to your climate zone.
    2. Sample Information Form: Please attach the following Sample-information with each order.

**Mail to our PO BOX if sending via USPS, or our street address if sending via UPS or FEDEX**

SAMPLE REPORT (regular) with color coded high-medium-low scales:



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