Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easy Soil Structure Test

Last year I hurriedly constructed a square foot garden.  I dug down 2' / 31cm into my "lawn".  The details can be found here on my original post.  This year I am testing the structure of the soil.  I know it wasn't as good as need be.

I found an empty jar with a lid in the recycling bin.

Out to the garden
Loosen the soil and break up the big clods
Fill about 1/3 of the jar with soil

Add water, leaving about 1" / 25mm of air at the top.

Tightly screw on the top.

Shake the jar until all the soil is in suspension.

Then shake it a little more, just to be sure.

What you will have should look like this.
You can see the heavy grains of sand immediately separated out of the suspension after the shaking stopped.

Now let the suspension settle overnight.

Close to 16 hours later, this is what I have.

What are do you see?

The sand that settled to the bottom is there on the right.
Clay, that is the major component of my soil has settled on the left.
What little organic matter in my soil is floating on the top.

The results of this test tell me that my soil is nearly 50/50 sand/clay particles.  I lack organic material.

Get out and test your soil.  Let me know what you find.


©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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