If the laboratory does not receive a representative sample of the whole stockpile, golf green
or football pitch, misleading results may be obtained.
The outer 15cm of the pile should be pulled back and a plastic tube inserted into the pile. Withdraw the tube and empty the sample into a large clean container (a large strong plastic bag is ideal). A minimum of 8 samples should be removed from different sections and levels of the stockpile and collected together in the plastic bag. Close the plastic bag and shake gently end over end several times to thoroughly mix the sample. Remove a sub-sample of the required size for testing. This reduced sample should be bagged, labelled clearly and submitted for testing.
The detailed USGA document “Quality Control Sampling of Sand and Rootzone Mixture Stockpiles” (J. Moore, 2002) is available. If you require a copy, please let us know.
An auger or similar tool should be used to remove samples up to 6” deep in a random fashion across the area to be tested (a W pattern over the area is suggested). The turf and thatch should be removed and the cores combined to form a composite sample of the green or area of the pitch to be tested. These should be bagged, labelled clearly and submitted for testing.
The amounts required for each test are:
Ideally take the sample using bulked hollow tine cores at a depth of at least 8cm again using a W pattern over the area to be tested (approx 1⁄2 kg will be sufficient). These should be collected in a clean plastic bag, labelled clearly, packed tightly and submitted for testing.
It is best to take samples from the affected area and unaffected area.
Use a hole-changer core to take a sample to a depth of at least 8cm. The sample should be wrapped tightly in dry newspaper, labelled clearly, packed tightly and submitted to the laboratory as quickly as possible. The grass should be kept free from contamination from the rootzone as much as possible.
If the sward is damaged in discrete circles or patches, please take the core sample from the leading edge of the symptoms – this means that half of the core will display the damaged turf and the other half will show the unaffected turf around the outside.
Do not use hollow tine cores for this type of analysis as they provide very few intact plants.
Use a clean container to take your sample. The container (approx. 500ml) should be rinsed using the actual water to be tested. Complete this several times.
Take the actual sample of water, ensuring that the bottle is full. Wrap the bottle in tinfoil or a black bag to keep out sunlight. If the bottled water is open to sunlight, this can promote biological activity, which may affect the pH and concentration of the ions present. Keep the bottle as cool as possible – some customers freeze the water prior to sending. The water sample should be sent to ETL as quickly as possible to prevent deterioration – express courier service is recommended.
Please visit our Golf Green Health Indexing page for full details
ETL are 1 of only 10 USGA approved physical soil testing laboratories in the world?
Since 1996, European Turfgrass Laboratories tested samples from a variety of projects in countries throughout the world.
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ETL have successfully renewed our A2LA Accreditation for another two years following an on-site assessment in mid-March. The renewal has been extended to April 2019! Anyone wishing copies of our scope of accreditation or certificate should contact Sharon.