Soil probing is an exploration or investigation of the kind of soil used in agriculture. In dry places, especially those on top of mountains, the soil tends to dry fast even after a heavy rain. Plants need moisture and dry soils have to be watered. To make sure that plants get the necessary moisture in order to stay healthy, its owner has to do something to help the plants to survive.
Simple steps in making a soil probe as a homemade testing tool are as follows:
- Gather the tools and materials to be used—a piece of 6-foot rebar, water source, garden hose, and marker.
- Cut the end of the rebar and make it pointed. A steel man or a construction staff can do the job because they have the proper tool to cut the end pointed.
- Have the other end attached to a handle. The handle should be made of hard wood and positioned in T-form when connected to the rebar.
- The garden hose is part of the probe because it will bring the water to the place of the testing area.
- The marker can be a pentel pen or construction paint to identify the depth of the moist soil. The probe is complete and ready to use.
There are other ways of making a soil probe, but the above description is the most simple and practical one. The rebar is available in hardware selling construction materials. It is for sale but construction companies may have extra rebar that are no longer useful and can be purchased from them at a low price. The piece has to be pointed in order to pierce the moist soil. It must have a handle so that it will be easy to push deep until the deepest moist soil is reached.
To use the probe, follow the steps:
- Make a digging on the area to be measured. Pour some water or use the garden soil to bring the water to the basin-like digging until it is full.
- Pierce the rebar on the moist soil until it stops. When it stops that means the moist has been reached and the deeper portion is dry. No matter how hard you push down the handle, the rebar will not go deeper.
- With the use of a pentel pen marker or construction paint, mark on the probe the portion where it stopped penetrating further down.
- Pull out the probe and measure the space from the pointed tip to the sign you made on the rebar earlier.
- If the measurement did not meet the conditions (3 feet for shrubs and 6 feet for trees), water again the area and measure again.
The purpose of pouring water on the area to be measured is for the probe to penetrate the soil. Dry soil cannot be penetrated by any pointed tool no matter how hard the pressure could be. The probe is important so that the moisture of the soil could be measured and the plants are given proper nourishment. Bushes need at least 3 feet of moist soil in order to bear healthy leaves and beautiful flowers. Trees need deeper moist soil to become healthy. It is always a wise habit to make and use a soil probe every time it is required.