Set Up Sampling Quadrants

Dividing each plot into quarters, or quadrants, can be helpful for keeping track of, and relocating, individually marked flowers or seedlings. Four quadrants can be established by marking the plot edge at each of the four cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) (Figure 3). A stake, brightly colored pin flag, or PVC pipe can be pounded into the ground to denote each of the cardinal directions. Use a ¾-inch or 1-inch PVC pipe cut to 24" lengths. Quadrant markers should be labelled N, S, E and W. This will create 4 quadrants for sampling – the northeast quadrant, northwest quadrant, southeast quadrant and southwest quadrant. Permanently marking the cardinal directions will make finding your plants and re-measuring easier in future visits. Two 12-foot strings can (optional) be laid out from north to south and east to west to help you visualize the individual quadrants as you sample (Figure 3). Data should be collected first in the northeast quadrant and should continue in a clockwise direction. Remove the strings when finished sampling.

Figure 3
Figure 3. Schematic and picture of one plot showing 6-foot radius and four quadrants. Each quadrant is established by measuring two yards to the edge of the plot and marking the plot edge at each of the four cardinal directions.