Get dirty – get to know your soil

'We know more about the movement of the celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.'

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), 'Universal Genius' of Renaissance times.

Simple exercises to characterise your soil

You don’t have to be a soil scientist to get to know some of the essential characteristics of your own backyard soil. Anyone can get their hands dirty.

With a few simple tests you can find out some interesting facts about your own soil. All you need is a spade or garden trowel, a jar with a lid, some water, and either a soil colour smartphone app or soil colour sheets.

Find out more about soil structure
Find our more about soil texture
Find out more about soil colour

Field guides to help you determine a whole range of essential soil characteristics.

NZ VSA Field Guides

The Visual Soil Assessment Field Guides contains all the information necessary to carry out VSA on your land. The Field Guide is self-explanatory and its use does not require special training or technical skills.

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