3.1 Penetrometer

Penetrometer (PSI)

Soil health indicator: soil compaction PSI reading using a dial penetrometer

A way to assess soil compaction. Soils become more open/easier to penetrate as health improves. Lower compaction (tightness) is associated with well structured soil – as soil structure in the long term is a product of biological activity.
Tip: you may wish to ask a friend to video the process of inserting the penetrometer into the soil. This will mean you don’t have to remember the reading you get.


  • Soil Penetrometer (dial)
  • Penetrologger

What to record in the Sectormentor for Soils app:

  1. Decide whether you want to test the field more generally (under the W walk category), or repeatedly test a specific sample site over time (using the GPS feature to find the same sample location to test the ground).
  2. Push penetrometer into soil with straight arms, as far as possible
  3. Record on the app the highest value you see as you insert probe (videoing the process can be helpful if practical)


  • Value PSI