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Soil data collection equipment or kits. Recommendation?

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Hi there, a newbe here.

In a month time starting a big perma culture adventure, 3 hectares of untouched (the last 40 years) rough land in a hard arid tropical climate, with if we are lucky 500mm of rain a year (nov till march).
Its kind of a unique climate with not much data know, I want to collect as much data as possible and open source this one my website.

If we can turn these dry lands in a tropical paradise with lots of food.

I am a nerd so love lab work but also will be very busy the next years so automatic stuff would be great.

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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Emma, please fill out your profile so we know where on the planet you are located, along with other pertinent information, this way all the info shows up in your post without you having to add it each time you make a post. (look at my info to the left of this post) for an idea of what's good to have available for people who want to help with answers to your questions.

For data collection, a quad ruled notebook is what almost all data collecting scientist use, headings are never the same project to project so we just make a starting page, this page will contain a list of all the data types we think we will need to collect, then the next pages will be one heading per page for the actual data.
I recommend making a set of pages for daily observations of atmospheric conditions as well so you can chart the data about weather and develop a pattern so you can have cyclic information down the road.

Unless you have a weather station on site, not much will be "automatic" on the atmospheric conditions.
There isn't any automated apparatus for soil sampling/testing either.
You will want a microscope and a scale slide or platform for counting and identifying the different microbes in the soil from onset to fully developed plots and these data sets go into the notebook as individual pages too.

The other items you will need are: pH meter that can be regularly calibrated, soil probe (tube type for core samples) 2 feet long, slides, coverslips, dyes for the microscope work, sample jars to put the soil samples in to send to lab, labels so you know what is which sample jar.

Hope that gives you a start to your adventure.

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