Jar Test for Soil Composition
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There are many methods and tools out there for figuring out what your soil it made of. They can range from very cheap to omg expensive and unless you have a big bankroll you will want to stay away from a lot of them.
One of the most common things you will want to know about your soil is what is it made of. All soil is made of a combination of sands, silts and clay's in various percentages. What those percentages are is critical for determining a lot of what you do on your land.
There are a few ways you can test to figure out what soil components your soil has. There is the soil texture triangle like I talked about in my last post or you can also use progressively smaller screens to separate the soil into its component parts.
The method I want to talk about today is the jar method. To do this you need a large jar like one of those gallon size pickle jars and adjacent sample of your soil and water.
Take your glass jar and fill it about 1/3 full of soil. Make sure the soil you use is a representative sample of the area you are testing. The add enough water to fill the jar about 2/3 full. Shake the jar until all the soil is completely mixed and suspended into the water.
Then leave the jar to sit for at least 24 hours or longer if needed to get clear water at the top of the jar.
Once all the particles of soil have settled to the bottom of the jar you should see clear bands of different soil materials. At the bottom will be the sands then the silts and the clay's will be on top of that. By measuring how thick the bands of soil are then comparing that to the total thickness of the soil you can get a rough percentage of the soil composition.
This test can be more accurate for a novice to perform than the texture triangle as you can use simple measurements and little math to get a accurate reading.