Soil & Tissue Testing

Soil and tissue testing throughout the growing season is vital to the success of a high yield program. These are Monty’s general recommendations. To maximize your testing program, please contact your Monty’s representative.


Soil Sampling Recommendations

Soil samples can be taken by grid or soil zones. Your sample should consist of a composite of 15 subsamples taken randomly at a depth of 4-6 inches from across the sample area. The sample needs to be mixed well to be representative of the soil conditions.

Soils that can be tested less often: If the soil has high CEC, it will hold cation nutrients better and the pH will remain constant over longer periods of time. We suggest testing throughout the growing season and at the end of the harvest for planning.

Soil that should be frequently tested: Soil with low CEC (less than 7), some cations such as potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg++), and ammonium (NH4+) have the ability leach through the root zone, so testing more often to find nutrient deficiencies is essential. When fertility levels are low, soil samples should be taken more frequently to insure best utilization of added nutrients.

The key is consistency and getting the information back in time to use it. We encourage sampling at harvest so you may plan properly for the next growing season. While factors such as weather and crop rotation can affect soil test results, these differences are generally small and reliable information can still be obtained regardless when sampling is done.

For general practices: Additional fall or spring sampling can be done for fertilizer planning and application purposes. Pre-season and post-harvest sampling each season provides beneficial data to maximize yield potential.


Tissue Sampling Recommendations

Timing: To achieve the highest yields possible, we encourage tissue sampling weekly throughout the season. Many high-yielding growers depend on weekly tissue testing to help address their deficiencies more quickly.

Plant tissue to sample: Taking the third or fourth leaf below the most recent growth should provide information for you to make the best decisions. For more crop-specific sampling, contact your tissue sampling lab.

Storing and shipping: Store the sample properly and remove soil or other debris that would interfere with tissue analysis and results. Problem areas or areas of interest should be sampled separately. All samples should be stored in a paper bag in a cool place and properly labeled. All samples should be sent to the lab immediately to prevent any decay or damage to your sample that could cause your tissue results to be inaccurate.

Give yourself adequate time to review the test results and plan the program before making fertilizer applications. Talk to your Monty’s representative about the best soil and issue testing program for you.