The Gold Service is our highest level of soil analysis. This is especially useful for those wishing to make a living from their plot as a market garden or small holding, or for extensive landscape design. The Gold Service investigates additional tests to the Silver Service. For ease of comparison, tests additional to those offered in the Silver Service are highlighted in green.
Bespoke Report written in an easy to interpret style giving the reader the results of their soil tests, but, importantly, discussing their significance relating to your reason for having the soil tested. Customers frequently tell us how much they appreciate receiving this comprehensive report.
Nutrient testing is carried out on eleven vital elements: phosphorus; potassium; magnesium, iron, copper, ammonium, nitrate & nitrite, calcium, manganese, sulphur & chloride. We guide on whether the concentrations are suitable for your specific purpose and inform how to rectify deficiencies. We measure nutrients in their soluble form because these are the levels that matter to plant growth.
Soil texture is one of the the key characteristics defining a soil. It is calculated by analysing the relative proportions of sand, silt & clay in the sample. We will tell you exactly what texture your soil is & advise on its nutrient retention & how it is best managed.
pH analysis tells you how acid or alkaline a soil is. This is important because it dictates the kinds of plants that will grow well in your soil & allows you to avoid those that wont. We also guide how pH can be changed to optimize plant growth. If your soil is acidic & you require a more alkaline ground we will run a lime requirement test . This reveals how much lime is needed to increase its pH. The pH is one of the most important factors in plant nutrition. This is because nutrients vary in their solubility depending on the soil's pH. Plants only acquire nutrients in solution form, therefore pH dictates their availability to the plant.
Percentage organic matter has a huge influence on soil fertility. It can chemically hold on to many nutrients needed for plant growth reducing the chances them being wash away by rain. Organic matter improves soil structure & makes clay soils more workable. To assess, a soil sub-sample is gradually heated to remove all moisture, weighed then placed in a kiln at 500 degrees Celsius. This ignites the organic matter (loss on ignition). The percentage is calculated as change in weight, between pre- & post-ignition.
Electrical conductivity (EC) is a measure of the ability of a soil to conduct an electrical current. It is used as an indicator of soil fertility. EC collectively measures soil sodium, ammonium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen, iron, copper, aluminium, manganese & zinc.
Need soil tested to establish a wildflower meadow? We can suggest the appropriate seed mixture.
Field capacity is the amount of water a soil can hold against gravity. This measure provides reveals how much volume of water a soil can retain. The amount is dependent upon the soil texture & the quantity of organic matter present. A soil with a low field capacity will be more drought prone than one with a larger field capacity.
The Gold Service is perfect for:
obtaining a thorough understanding of your soil;
landscape designers & architects needing an extensive understanding of a client's soil;
evaluating soils with extreme high or low pH;
diagnosing reasons for poor fertility;
assessing soil quality prior to planting new areas of a garden;
cultivating specialist plants;
investigating nutrient deficiency or excess;
deciding which nutrients are necessary to add to boost plant growth;
learning the best way to manage & improve your soil's health;
establishing if your soil will be prone to drought or water-logging.