Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure

Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) for Soil Health

This straightforward, quick soil test describes how to assess topsoil in three simple steps. Each assessment should not take more than 20 minutes.

The steps are soil removal, soil assessment and soil scoring (see Method Description).

A quality score is given which shows if the soil structure needs to be improved to maintain soil health.

Scoring and assessment require comparison with a 2-page colour chart of differing soil structure and associated soil descriptions - downloadable here.

Go deeper with Subsoil VESS colour chart and see the SubVESS Method Description.

Non-English language and pictures-only versions of VESS can be  downloaded hereSpanishPortugueseNorwegianDanishTurkishFrench.

Bruce Ball

Reader in Soil Science

Address: SRUC Crop and Soil Systems Research Group
West Mains Road

Telephone: +44 131 535 4379