Sampling and Preparation

One of the most important aspects of analytical work is the proper collection and preparation of representative samples. The following are some general guidelines on sampling techniques for soils, plants and water. Specific sampling information can be obtained from a variety of sources, including literature and Extension Specialists.

Also included are recommendations for preparing samples prior to submitting them to the UC Davis Analytical Lab. The lab routinely dries wet sample material and also provides sample grinding service (at client cost). If you have any questions regarding sampling or sample preparation, please contact the Lab at 530-752-0147.

The Analytical Laboratory offers the option for clients to submit wrapped samples (plant and soil) for Nitrogen and/or Carbon analysis. Wrapping instructions are provided below. Please note: The lab prefers and recommends that unwrapped material is submitted for analysis. Sample material wrapped by lab staff allows for stringent quality control and re-analysis in case of instrument failure or suspicious results.


Reisenauer, H. M. (ed.) 1978. Soil and Plant-Tissue Testing in California, Division of Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Bulletin 1879.