This simple tool allows you to observe the degree of soil compaction at depths from 0-18 inches (0-45 centimeters). The penetrometer consists of removal tapered-tip cone, a rod with depth marks at 3" (7.5cm) intervals, a machined precision-bore pressure chamber, and a 0-1000 Psi (0-60 bar) pressure gauge. The diameter of the bore / piston and tip cone base are essentially equal. This means that the pressure reading of the meter is approximately the same as the pressure required at the tip to force the rod through the soil.
REMINDER: Soil must be moist in order to obtain meaningful readings.
Highly compacted soils are void of air spaces. Aerobic, oxygen-loving microbes are unable to make nutrients available to plant rootlets under those conditions. Plant roots will have good growth patterns when soil penetrometer readings are less the 200 psi / 14 bar. When a pressure greater than 300 psi / 21 bar is required to force the tip through the soil, very poor growth condition will exist for most plant species.
The 0 – 1000 psi / 0 – 60 bar gauge allows you to monitor highly compacted soils and then measure the improvements as you modify farming practices. Tillage techniques and timing may be altered to see if relative improvement occurs. Soil wetting agents may also be evaluated for their effectiveness.
The depth marks along the rod allow you to determine the penetration resistance at various depths. By watching the gauge as you pass each mark, you can see the relative compaction at each depth.