tests on soil for gardening lawn

4 easy tests on soil for gardening lawn: Identify soil types

Tests on soil for gardening & lawn: Soil is the medium of growing plants. People can tell you the specific name of the plants but can’t tell you the specific name of the soil. Identification and putting a name on the soil is one of the most important tasks in gardening and crop farming. The proper identification of soil is very important for soil improvement as well as garden and crop field improvement. Without proper identification of soil, we can’t take proper care of our beloved garden and land cropland properly. So, we need to take some steps that tell you the specific names of the soil. 

We can identify the soil by walkover test and hand tests on soil within a few minutes without any cost. Besides, we can identify the soil by the pit test that needs a little effort. Also, a soil kit test is one of the best ones that will show you the exact amount of N-P-K nutrients and the pH level of your soil. 

Tests on soil for gardening, lawn

In this article, We’ll focus tests on soil, testing soil, soil tested, soils test, soils testing, soil testing methods, the field test of soil, gardens soil, soil for gardening, gardening soil, soil for a garden, gardeners soil, identification of soil, types of soil, soils types, how to identify soil type, soil identification guide, soil classification test, soils classification, classification of soils. Test and improve your soil. So, let’s start.

The walkover tests on soil

The walkover is a very easy method of testing soil. For doing this test you should choose a day when the soil is moist and the plants are actively growing. Walk over your plot and look at the soil, weeds, and plants carefully. Make decisions on what you have observed.

Stony soil identification

After walking a square of your if you observed 30 or more small and large stones then name it soil stony.

Tests on soil for gardening and lawn
Stony soil

Peaty soil identification

If you observe the soil dark brown or grey, rich in plant residues and spongy in texture then name its peaty soil.

Tests on soil for gardening and lawn
Peaty soil

Poorly drained soil identification

If you observe the surface of the soil covered with moss and/or green slime then name it poorly drained soil. You can also identify the soil by the presence of rushes and sedges. If the garden consists of wet, poorly drained soil, it’s highly probable to find the following weeds dwelling in the area: Spotted spurge, Knotweed, Moss, Bindweed, Sedge, Bluegrass, Chickweed, Goosegrass, Ground ivy (creeping charlie), Speedwell, Violet.

Tests on soil for gardening and lawn
Spotted spurge grow in poorly drained soil

Acid soil identification

While walking if you observe the growing main weeds include dock, thistle, daisy, plantain or creeping buttercup then name it acid soil. You can also identify the acid soil by the flourishing of Dandelions, Rhododendron, Azalea, Heather, or Camellia on the surface. These areas of the landscape may be full of weeds like Hawkweed, Sorrel, Moss, Plantain.

Tests on soil for gardening and lawn
Flourishing of Dandelions in acid soil

Alkaline soil identification

If you observe the growing clover as the main weed and the yellow leaves of Rhododendron, Azalea or Camellia then name it alkaline soil. The opposite of acidic soil, you can find the weeds that are generally grown in more alkaline soils include: Chicory, Queen Anne’s lace, Spotted spurge, Chickweed.

Yellow leaves of Rhododendron

Fertile soil identification

If you observe the growth of stinging, nettle, sow-thistle, fat-hen, chickweed, or groundsel as main weed then name its fertile soil. Many common weeds like healthy, fertile soil because they are rich in organic matter. You can find the weeds that are generally grown in more fertile soils include: Foxtail, Chickweed, Chicory, Horehound, Lambsquarter, Mallow, Plantain, Thistle.

Tests on soil for gardening and lawn
Stinging weed on fertile soil

The pit tests on soil

You have to dig a pit (2ft x 2ft x 2ft) to perform this test. You should choose a day when the soil is moist. This pit will be used later for the drainage test of soil. However, in the pit test, you may observe the following things.

Chalky soil identification

You can identify the chalky soil by the presence of dark topsoil. You can confirm the identity of the chalky soil with the presence of a white subsoil a few inches below the surface. 

Poorly drained soil identification

You can identify the poorly drained soil by the presence of a subsurface hard layer with the texture and firmness of baked clay. This had a subsurface layer called “pan”. Sometimes the color of the pan is rusty brown. So, you can also identify the poorly drained soil by the presence of blue or rusty brown streaks in the subsoil.

The hand tests on soil

You can identify the types of soil by observing its properties. 

Tests on soil for gardening and lawn
The hand test of soil

1st-observation

You can identify the types of soil by the following procedure:

  1. Pick up a handful of soil
  2. Hold the soil together
  3. Knead the soil in the palm of the hand
  4. Break down the lumps of the soil
  5. Form the soil into a strong ball
  6. Squeeze a small quantity of the soil with sliding motion between finger and thumb. 

Clay soil identification

You can identify the clay soil by observing its stickiness on a wet day. The clay soil will cling to your footwear in large lumps. However, you can confirm the identity of the clay soil by observing the following properties:

  • The soil is very sticky when wet
  • Surface become shiny
  • Clay content is very high
  • Fine-grained
  • When squeezed will form a durable cast (or clump)

Sandy clay soil identification

You can identify the sandy clay soil by observing the same properties of clay soil. But you can find one extra thing that can differentiate the sandy clay soil from clay soil i.e. sandy soil also gritty in nature.

Clay loam soil identification

You can confirm the identity of the clay loam soil by observing the following properties:

  • The surface of the soil does not become shiny
  • The shape of the soil ball hard to change
  • Soil can be easily rolled out into threads
  • May have a sticky feel

Medium loam soil identification

You can confirm the identity of the medium loam soil by observing the following properties:

  • The surface of the soil does not become shiny
  • The shape of the soil ball is not hard to change
  • Soil can’t be easily rolled out into threads
  • May have a sticky feel

2nd-observation

You can identify the types of soil by the following procedure:

  1. Pick up a handful of soil
  2. Hold the soil together
  3. Knead the soil in the palm of the hand
  4. Break down the lumps of the soil
  5. Form the soil into a strong ball
  6. Squeeze a small quantity of the soil with sliding motion between finger and thumb. 

Sandy soil identification

When a handful of sandy soil is squeezed in your hand you can confirm the identity of the sandy soil by observing the following properties:

  • The soil feels sound gritty 
  • Not possible to roll the soil into a ball
  • It will easily fall apart when you open your hand again

Loamy sand soil identification

When a handful of soil is squeezed in your hand you can confirm the identity of the loamy sand soil by observing the following properties:

  • The soil feels gritty 
  • Possible but difficult to roll the soil into a ball
  • It is difficult to get to stick together

Sandy loam soil identification

When a handful of sandy soil is squeezed in your hand you can confirm the identity of the sandy loam soil by observing the following properties:

  • The soil feels gritty 
  • Easy to roll the soil into a ball
  • Easy to get to stick together

Silt loam soil identification

When a handful of soil is squeezed in your hand you can confirm the identity of the silt loam soil by observing the following properties:

  • The soil does not feel gritty 
  • Possible to roll the soil into a ball
  • But the ball easily broke
  • The soil feels silky or soapy

The kit tests on soil

Before going to crop farming or growing plants on a garden we need to test the present conditions of the soil. Sometimes, we need to test the exact amount of the plant nutrient elements present on that soil. In this situation, we can perform the kit test. There are several types of kits available in the market available for testing NPK (Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash) and PH content of the soil. The result of this test will tell you whether your soil needs lime or not. 

The soil kit test
Soil kit test

Limitation of the soil kit test

There are some limitation of the soil kit test for example;

  • Less useful for determining fertilizers need
  • It shows the approximate or categorical value of nutrient content (i.e., low, medium, high)
  • Difficult to translate the result into practical plant nutrient requirement

In conclusion, I hope this article will help you how to identify soil type, soil tests, testing soil, soil tested, soils test, soils testing, soil testing methods, the field test of soil, gardens soil, soil for gardening, gardening soil, soil for a garden, gardeners soil, identification of soil, types of soil, soils types, soil identification guide, soil classification test, soils classification, classification of soils. Test and improve your soil.

Happy Reading! Happy Gardening!

Agriculturist Musa
 

Agriculturistmusa is a graduate student in agriculture. He is doing research on home improvement, indoor, and outdoor gardening! He loves to decorate the home, garden, and lawn care. Based on his experience about home, improvement, gardening, and lawn; he is sharing his thought and opinion, tips, and tools so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!

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