Soil Food Web

A Certified Biological Laboratory

Now offering biological testing of soil, compost, compost extracts and teas using the biological assessment methods of Dr Elaine Ingham at the Soil Food Web School. Learn what biology your soil and amendments have, how much, and whether it is conducive to growing what you want to grow.

How healthy is your soil?

Analyzing the microbiology in your compost, soil, or liquid amendments lets you know if your soil is suitable for the crop you want to grow.

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For example, most agricultural fields are bacterially dominated. However, many crops require a lot more fungi than is typically present for optimum health and production- not to mention flavor and nutrition. If your land has had synthetic fertilizers or other chemicals applied to it (including many organics) you could be killing your fungi. Tilling also kills fungi. As a result, your plants grow poorly and your edible crop’s flavor and nutrition is diminished.

Protozoa and nematodes can hurt or help too. Beneficial organisms help cycle nutrients reducing your need for external inputs such as fertilizers. In the worst case, detrimental microbes hurt your plants by directly feeding on them. At the very least, many not-so-good microbes inform the grower of anaerobic soil conditions leading to disease and decreased yields.

Root feeding nematode with aggregates including fulvic and humic acids:

Soil Food Web Test Results

The types and quantities of nematodes, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi tell us if your soil is healthy or unhealthy. You will receive a comprehensive detailed report showing the count of the major microorganisms, differentiating between the beneficial ones and the detrimental organisms. You will learn the fungal to bacterial biomass ratio, so critical to the health of the different crops within the successional chart

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Tomatoes grow best in a fungal to bacterial biomass ratio (F:B) of 0.75:1. In other words, you need 3/4 as much fungi in your soil as bacteria. Early grasses as well as mustard and kale need a lot less. Old growth forest a lot more.

Sample report: Low fungi for intended crop of pomegranate.

Get Started Improving Your Soil

  • Pay For Test
    Pay online. Please be sure to fill out the form on the product page. You can also send check along with sample. Please be sure to fill out form on product page and contact me to let me know when the sample will be sent.

  • Collect Sample

    Sampling instruction will be emailed after you place your order. However, an apple corer works well to pull soil samples. Clear away any organic layer on the soil surface such as mulch and use your corer to collect the top 3 inches of soil. Contact me for specific details before hand.

  • Ship Sample

    Once you have placed your order I will send you shipping details. Soil and compost can be shipped 1-2 day. Liquids should be send next day since they are less stable biologically.