I realized after a few years that my job was more about trouble shooting and come up with solutions and programs, not only taking soil, water, tissue samples and look at soil, tissue and water chemistry reports.
With this in mind I needed to create a test where I could get as much information as possible and figure out the issues and also be able to explain to my clients what was going on and how we cold attack the problem or fine tune a program.
After 2 years playing around I got my "SPA" Soil Profile Assessment report done. Have been using it for 2 years now and estimate about 210 golf courses used this test twice a year on an average of 2 greens/course since the start. This test have given me and the clients very useful information.
Why is this test different from other similar tests?
We take 5 cup cutter size plugs from 1 green. Which is 5-10 times more material then any other test I have seen out there.
We test the top 0-1 Inch using LOI (loss of ignition) on the organic matter at different temperatures so we can try estimate thatch and humus.
We do our testing using Brookside Laboratories and can explain each test and ASTM. Nothing hidden!
We have Soil chemistry and Physical properties on same report(side by side)
We do firmness and infiltrometer on site test (if possible)
I have not seen any test like this in the world where you have Chemistry and Physical properties in one inch layer increments. In combination with firmness, moisture and infiltrometer test we can figure out cultivation programs, topdressing materials, fertilizers, salt issues, layering, organic matter accumulation... .