Obtain a composite sample of MOIST soil from near the plant root zone. Using the included sifters and bag, shake to remove non-soil debris.
Tear the powder packet open and place the extraction vial upside down on top of the open packet. Invert and tap to empty the contents into the vial.
Fill the small capped measurer to add 9.5 ml of water or compost tea to the extraction vial. Use the mixer to quickly dissolve the powder.
If you are testing compost tea, add the tea, whisk for 30 seconds and then move to Step 7.
Fill the soil sampler syringe to ~1 ml with sifted soil. Compress against your finger to 0.5 ml, remove any excess from the end, and eject into the extraction vial.
The accuracy of your readings depends on the consistency of the soil volume and compaction.
Compacted soil (especially clay) must be broken up before mixing using the whisker probe. Place the vial in the provided holder in the kit, and rest the mixer in the mouth of the extraction vial. Mix for 30 seconds.
After mixing, allow the liquid to rest for 10 minutes. Soil particles will settle to the bottom, creating a microbial suspension above.
Use a small pipette to draw up liquid from about half an inch below the surface. Avoid any floating debris and foam at the edges.
Carefully apply 3 drops (one drop at a time) to the sample window. Analyze with the app within 2 minutes.
Center the testcard on the cardboard included in the kit. The app will first ask you to name the sample. Then it will automatically image the testcard and provide a reading. Edit sample details by touching the blue square on the screen.
If your sample reads < 200 μg/g, add 3 more drops to the sample window, and re-analyze the card. Change the number of drops used for the calculation by touching the sample and editing the sample details.
If testing compost tea, divide your results by 20 to give you micrograms to milliliter of tea.
You can download your microbial biomass results from the PES Cloud App to an Excel Spreadsheet.
There is an option to Download All Samples or Download Filtered Samples. To download filtered samples, simply fill in the text boxes for the data you want to import and hit enter. Then you can click on a header to sort your results ascending or descending. Clicking on each row will allow you to enter in additional information.
Once your data is in Excel, you can create useful reports, charts and graphs to track your soil’s microbial biomass progress and determine what is working and what areas still need improvement.