Do you want to grow your own food? There are four major factors when you garden outside, Soil, Water, Sunlight and Plants, everything else is gravy, and if you have ever looked in one of our local garden magazines or read a garden book.. there is lots and lots of gravy available out there.. but lets focus on those four above, and for this post.. I want to talk about Soil aka Dirt or in more detail, how to do a basic Texture Test on your soil.
Want to learn more about Typical Canadian Soil, here are two site to check out.
So the one of the first things I would consider important know is what type of soil and its texture you are starting with, and I have a simple home test that cost nothing more then a bit of time, take a clean jar, a sample of your soil, I didn’t want to take a sample from one of my gardens that has already been worked on, so here is a sample being taking on the front lawn area that I am working to turn into a new garden area. So this is a “raw” soil sample.
put it in the jar, fill 3/4 with water, shake well for a min or two till all lumps are out and then let it sit for 24 hours.
Hmm, does that not look good LOL now I know that they say that it should be clear on the top and it might settle more yet but this is the required 24 hours later, Clearly my soil didn’t get the memo, its going to need more time yet,
Clearly its going to take another 24 hours for that last to settle and I will add another picture when it does but the main part that I need to show is done.. which is the amount of sand, vs Silt, and I will keep letting it settle for that clay line to show itself.
So already I have the basic answer to what kind of soil texture I have, it would be classifed as a loam soil which is typically comprised of approximately 25 – 50% sand, 30 – 50% silt and 10 – 30% clay by volume. After 72 hours, I have approx equal parts sand to eqaul parts silt with a very thin layer of clay.
Once it finally settles, I will take a ruler and give you the offical measurements, and if anyone is interested, I am willing to do the Jar test on my current Gardens, and then line them up so you can see where each one is at? So Do you know your gardens soil texture?