About the Soil Microbiome Test


  • Your soil microbiome tests will include estimates of the following microbial populations:
    • Bacteria
      • The building blocks of the microbial community, bacteria will be found in any soils. But what types, and in what quantities?
    • Fungi
      • The logistics network of the soil, our fragile fungal friends need to be nurtured for soil to be truly healthy. We measure their biomass and classify them as beneficial or harmful.
    • Actinobacteria
      • Another strand-like organism that can thrive in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. While they’re usually not a problem, we measure their biomass and warn you if too much is present, as it could indicate anaerobic conditions.
    • Protozoa
      • Bacterial predators are an important part of the soil ecosystem. We classify and count Amoebae and Flagellates in your soil – nutrient-cycling machines that eat upwards of 10,000 bacteria per day and excrete their excess nutrients in plant-available form.
    • Ciliates
      • These fast-moving protozoans are classified separately as they prefer anaerobic conditions and can be an indicator of compaction in the soil.
    • Nematodes
      • We classify and count these worm-like organisms based on what they eat – bacteria, fungi, roots, or other nematodes. Nematodes may get a bad rap, but out of those four groups–three are actually beneficial for the soil microbiome.
  • Key metrics include
    • Biomass of each population per gram of soil
      • Recommended ranges for your desired crop.
    • Presence of key organism groups
      • Descriptions of the effects of each of these populations on soil health.
    • Fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio
      • A key soil health indicator that determines which stage of plant succession your soil is ideal for. For most vegetable crops, that’s around the 1:1 mark, while weeds prefer 0.3:1 or less, and fruit trees prefer 10:1; with some old growth forests reaching up to 10,000:1 fungal to bacterial biomass.
  • Note: Microbiome analysis can also be completed on compost samples.