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 Post subject: Mother Earth News Home Soil Test
Post Posted: Jan 18, 2019 11:58 am 
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Easy Home Mason Jar Soil Test

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While not as precise as sending soil off to the lab, the Mason Jar Soil test is a quick and easy way to get a snapshot of your soil texture, which is to say, the relative proportions of sand, silt and clay. Just like potential partners, your soil will not be perfect, but understanding its flaws will guide your approach to your shared life. If the two of you are going to build an enduring relationship, then it is always going to be a work in progress.


and instructions follow in the article.

I fear my rock gardens will be mostly decomposed granite but I'm going to try this on my vegi garden soil and see what I get there. When the ground thaws, of course. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mother Earth News Home Soil Test
Post Posted: Jan 18, 2019 4:37 pm 
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I went to the website that was reference in the original post, and I must say that as a Soil Scientist, I was disappointed by the misinformation that the article is presenting in several areas. The mason jar test states that the "silt" in the jar after soaking will end up on top, with the "clay" being located in the middle of the jar, below the silt. The truth is that the silt particles are in fact larger and heavier than the clay particles, and will settle out quite a bit sooner than the clay particles, which are so small that they will remain in solution with the water for over several days before they settle out. This looks like some "cut and paste" article that somehow Mother Earth News put out, as they usually do a good job with technical references and "how to do tips".

Here's a link to a USDA website that provides a quick and easy method to determine soil texture "by feel", as well as provides some good information on the importance and affects of soil texture in your garden, as well as other links on various topics of Soil Education

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nr ... 2p2_054311


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 Post subject: Re: Mother Earth News Home Soil Test
Post Posted: Jan 18, 2019 7:07 pm 
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Thank you bigfootpete for your analysis of the Mother Earth News article. I too thought their articles were better researched and usually good material.


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