We have learned last week about pH test. pH test determines the lime and calcium present in the soil. Through this, you will be able to adjust the pH of the soil that is ideal to the plants that you will grow. This week about another method for you to know the type of your soil through squeeze test and shake test.
Types of Soil
As we learn back in grade school, the soil is classified as clay, sandy, and loamy. By determining which type of soil you got, you can be able learn how to improve them according to the plants you plan to grow depending on the characteristics of the soil you got.
- Clay soil
Usually made of small grains, clay is moist and dense. It has a characteristics of being too wet or too compact which is not suitable for a plant to grow. Clay soil is rich in nutrients yet slow draining that causes the water not to penetrate easily. So, when the soil is wet the water will run off and when the soil is dry, it will be heavy and hard to work.
- Sandy soil
Also referred as drainage, sandy soil is a poor water holder. Due to its characteristics, it is light and does not contain many nutrient like clay soil. Sandy soil is usually found on coastal areas.
- Loamy Soil
Usually found in rivers and valleys, loamy soil is considered to be the idea soil for growing plants. It is a combination of sandy and clay soil. It is free draining, which retains moisture and nutrients but it will not stay soggy.
The Squeeze Test
Squeeze test will determine what your soil type by squeezing a handful of moist soil (not muddy) from your garden. By doing this, one of the results below will happen.
- If it hold its shape but crumbles easily when you poke it, then you have a loamy soil.
- If it hold its shape but will not crumble when you poke it, then it is definitely a clay soil.
- If it falls apart when you open your hand, then without a doubt, it is sandy.
The Shake Test
Another way to determine your soil type is the shake test or jar test. In this test, you will need a clear jar with lid, a handful of soil from your garden and water.
- Fill the jar with water and put a handful of soil in it. Secure the cap and shake the jar for at least five minutes.
- Set the jar down on a level surface and place where you can see into it. After a minute, put a mark on the side where the larger particles settled onto the bottom of the jar. This is the sand particles.
- After an hour, another layer will settle. Place another mark on the side of the jar where the second layer settled. This is the silt particles.
- Check the jar after 24 hours or when the water clears. Place another mark on this final layer. This is the clay particles.
- Check your marks to determine the result and determine your soil types. If you have equal in size layers, then it is definitely a loamy soil. If the clay layer is thicker, then it is clay soil and it the sandy layer is thicker, then it is sandy soil.
There you have it! These two easy tests in determining the soil types will help you greatly in growing your plants well. What type of soil have you got?
- Soil Testing: The pH Level Test (davesjourneyandadventure.wordpress.com)