Soil Enzyme Sampling Information Rev. 1.0

PDF of information below: Soil Enzyme Sampling Information Rev. 1.0


Soil Enzyme Sampling Information Rev. 1.0

Emily Shafto, Ward Laboratories Inc.


Sampling for soil enzymes testing is slightly different than regular soil testing. It is very important to treat all the samples the same. Listed here are general guidelines to sample for all Soil Enzyme Tests.


1. Collect all your samples for comparison on the same day if possible. Samples may be collected on different days but try to keep sampling events to one week or less if comparisons are to be made between the samples. This reduces changes that may take place if moisture or temperature fluctuates between sampling times.

2. Use a standard soil core sampler. DO NOT use any form of lubricants on the soil core sampler.

3. Take 10-15 soil cores at a depth of 0-6 inches near the plant or rooting structures. Composite samples of 10-15 cores at 0-6 inches can be used to represent an area up to 40 acres. If soil types vary greatly within a field, we recommend using zone sampling to isolate differences in soil types. We do not recommend running the Soil Enzyme Tests on different soil depths as comparisons are difficult.

4. Combine all the cores, preferably in a zip lock freezer bag or plastic-lined paper soil bag. DO NOT use cloth bags for submitting Soil Enzyme samples.

5. Add all sample identification information you need to the sample bag and place in a cooler (A Styrofoam cooler with a lid works fine) or a regular box if shipment times are relatively quick (within 2 days).

6. Mark each sample and the shipping container as SOIL ENZYMES to ensure proper handing upon arrival to the lab.

7. Samples should be kept near original soil moisture and temperature. Ice packs can be used if sampling during hot weather. We recommend storing the samples in a cold cooler until samples can be sent to the lab. Remember to treat all samples equally for individual sampling periods.

8. Samples may be kept in the refrigerator prior to shipment. This is especially useful and should be done if samples are being taken at different times.

9. Samples can be mailed to or dropped off at Ward Laboratories Inc, 4007 Cherry Avenue, Kearney, NE 68848.


Additional information will be added to the website as new information becomes available. Any questions regarding soil enzyme testing may be directed to Emily Shafto at or Lance Gunderson at