Soils are composed of particles of different sizes, specifically clay, silt and mud. Deciding the proportion of each kind of particle, or the soil’s texture, for your yard’s soil will help you understand the dirt’s various features, know whether or not amendments are warranted and fix your yard-care pattern accordingly. A simple test permits you to estimate about the percentages of sand, silt and clay in your land without a sending samples to a lab.
Collect soil samples from your lawn. Dig down a few inches so that you stay away from surface vegetation and organic matter debris. Gather soil from several collection sites scattered throughout the lawn. In case you’ve got a large yard or suspect the soil texture varies within the lawn, think about collecting several samples, keeping them separate and examining them each separately.
Expand the collected soil on a newspaper, and let the soil dry.
Crush the dry soil to break up clods. Pulverize it with a pestle or similar grinding implement. Remove all big rocks and non-soil organic material.
Pour the pulverized soil into a transparent quart jar or evenly sized jar so it’s one-quarter full. Fill the jar with water therefore it is three-quarters full.
Add about 1 tsp of non-foaming dish-washing powder or table salt to the jar, and place the jar’s lid securely on the jar. Shake the jar hard for 10 minutes, and then place it in which you won’t have to bother it for many days.
Check the jar one minute after you completed shaking it and set it down. Mark the top of the settled sand layer over the side of the jar.
Mark on the jar that the top of the next layer that settles, silt particles, then two hours later you stopped shaking the jar and set it down.
Mark the top of the final layer, the clay layer, when it settles completely and the water is clear. The final layer might take several times to settle fully.
Assess the thickness of each separate particle layer and the total thickness of the soil sample.
Calculate the percentage of each particle type from the sample. Start by dividing the thickness of each layer from the entire thickness of the sample. Multiply that amount by 100.
Look at a soil texture triangle to obtain the texture of the soil using the percentages you calculated. Locate the percentage of each kind of particle along the faces of the soil texture triangle, and follow the related lines to the center of this triangle to find out where they intersect and into which texture class that point of intersection falls.