Information obtained from a good profile pit and soil sample can be used to optimise planning for fertilisation, drainage, as well as other soil cultivation practices. Consequently high potential growth conditions can be created for grapevines to develop a good root system that will produce high quality and constant crops. It goes without saying that sufficient knowledge is required of the correct method of soil sampling.

Choice of profile pit position
Profile pits should be demarcated to include obvious problem areas, as well as parts of the vineyard that perform well. The pits should be spread evenly across the block. Each pit should be indicated with a specific number on a map. It is preferable for the pits to be approximately 20 cm from the vineyard rows, so as to properly represent the
soil at the roots.
How to make the hole and what it should look like

The hole can be dug with a spade, or a digger if available. The dimensions of the profile pit should be 2 m deep, 3 m long and 1 m wide. The walls of the hole should be as even as possible. Holes should preferably be made in autumn when the soil is fairly dry and the grapevines have removed the required nutrients.
How to take the sample
Soil samples should preferably be taken from each specific soil layer. In practice this would mean taking soil samples at 30, 60 and 90 cm soil depth. Take care that the sample represents as much as possible of the layer. Any large stones (bigger than 25 mm) should be removed from the sample.
What to do with the sample
Approximately 1 kg of soil at each layer of depth should be placed in a plastic bag. The bags should be clearly marked, stating the name of the farm, the block number and pit number, as well as the reference depth. If any large stones (bigger than 25 mm) are obvious at a certain depth, this should be indicated on the bags. The bags should
be thoroughly closed/tied as soon as the sample has been taken.

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