Phil Busey Agronomy
Consulting Inc.


Soil Physical Analysis

Soil physical properties (particle size, pore space, bulk density, etc.) have a large effect on drainage, susceptibility to compaction, and moisture retention.

The basic Complete Physical Analysis is the S004 test which includes: Particle Size, organic matter by ash, sand fractions, saturated hydraulic conductivity, 30cm moisture retention, non-capillary pore space, capillary pore space, total pore space, bulk density, particle density, pH, and visual classification.

Modified soil for golf courses and sports turf fields need to be carefully chosen to provide adequate porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The combination of sand size distribution and organic matter greatly affect field characteristics. One of the confusions in the industry is how organic matter in soil mixes are specified by volume by organic matter in soil analysis is done by weight.

While this is suitable for most agricultural purposes, more specialized tests such as the Bunker Sand Characterization (S008) and the Moisture Curve Package (S009) are appropriate for golf courses.