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  • Amy King

Baseline soil sampling

We are gearing up to install the native plant hedgerow this winter at the demo site at Wild Oak Vineyard, and before we do that, we want to get an idea of soil conditions. We will track soil organic matter (SOM) content for three years, paying particular attention to the SOM content before the project is installed (now-ish) and at the conclusion of the CDFA portion of the project, in the spring of 2022. At those 2 soil sampling events, we are measuring:

- Organic matter content

- Wet infiltration rate

- microbial respiration, organic nitrogen, and other constituents part of the Haney test

Over time, we expect the practices installed at this site (native plant hedgerow, perennial cover crop, native riparian corridor) to build organic matter in the soil; as the plant roots grow and senesce, their carbon and nutrients are released into the soil. This process can take many years to result in a measurable increase in total SOM, but properties such as infiltration rate, microbial respiration rates, and nutrient availability can increase more quickly. In this photo, Jerah Frye (Field Manager) and I are measuring wet infiltration rates with a PVC ring.

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