1.5 Topsoil Depth

Topsoil Depth

Soil health indicator: Depth of top soil in cm

A crude measure of soil health. Indicates the extent to which the soil has been developed by biological action. Typically top soil (or upper portion of the soil profile) will differ in appearance from the subsoil (parent material) and often be darker or more textured. The deeper the top soil, the further roots can grow and the more water and nutrients will be available.

Equipment:

  • Spade or soil sampler
  • Ruler/tape measure

Doing test:

  1. Locate your chosen sample site – you can use the GPS mapping feature on the app to do this if you’ve recorded the sample locations previously.
  2. Dig a smallish hole as deep as you can (up to 60cm)
  3. Insert ruler into hole and record in app at what depth the soil first changes colour and/or texture.
  4. Take a photo using app

What to record in the Sectormentor for Soils app:

  • Depth of the top soil in cm.

Resources:

https://www.permaculture.org.uk/sites/default/files/page/document/permaculture_research_soil_test_hb_v.2.1_0.pdf

Will Godwin from Hampton Estate measuring the depth of topsoil on one of their pasture fields: