Test Your Soil

It’s important to know the type of soil on your property in order to properly fertilize and water your yard and garden. Soil type is also vital in the success of growing certain types of plants, and if you don’t know the type of soil you have, proper plant care is difficult if not impossible.

You might think your soil is primarily one type, when in fact it’s something else. Don’t assume you have a certain type of soil without performing a simple soil test. Anyone can test their soil to find out exactly what type of soil they have, and this soil test can be preformed simply and easily without cost or complication.

The following information explains how to perform a simple soil test to determine your specific soil type. Once you know the type of soil you have to work with, you’ll be able to improve the quality of the soil in an effort to better care for your flowers, bushes, garden, and lawn. Knowing your soil type is the first step to having a beautiful lawn and an abundant garden.

Necessary Supplies

You don’t need an expensive kit or a soil expert in order to determine the type of soil on your property. All you need is a quart size jar with a lid; water softening powder, ordinary tap water, soil from your property, and a level surface to complete the test. With these simple ingredients, you’ll be able to find out the type of soil you have, and in turn, you’ll be able to properly care for your lawn, shrubbery, and garden plants.


To test your soil, fill a quart size jar with approximately twenty-one ounces of tap water and one teaspoon of water softening powder. Shake the mixture until the powder completely dissolves.

After the powder has dissolved, add soil from your property until the water reaches the top of the jar. Place the lid on the jar, tighten it securely, and briskly shake the jar until the soil breaks down into small particles.

Set the jar on a level surface and watch how the soil settles in the bottom of the jar. Sand is the heaviest, and it will fall to the bottom first. Particles of silt will be the next to settle in the jar. Lastly, clay particles, which are very buoyant, will settle on top. Keep in mind that clay can take several hours to fully settle. Once all of the particles in the soil have settled you’ll be able to obtain clear results of this simple soil test.

Soil Test Reading

Once all of the soil particles have settled, the water will appear somewhat clear and you’ll be able to view the individual layers that will ultimately determine your specific soil type.

If the layers appear to be equal, your soil is considered loamy. This is a desirable type of soil that is ideal for plant growth.

If the layer of clay on top is thicker than the rest of the layers, your soil is considered heavy. Heavier soil could benefit greatly by working in organic matter or sand to lighten and improve the consistency.

If your soil has a thick layer of sand, it’s considered light, and it could also benefit greatly by working in organic matter. Peat moss or compost will help add body to the soil while providing essential vitamins and minerals to your lawn, shrubbery, and garden plants.

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