- Students will be able to describe the three primary components of a soil sample.
Tools & Materials
- Mason jar with lid and ring
- Soil sample
Soil is anything but simple. Particulates of varying sizes create a structure that is improved with the proper amount of organic material. This complexity is the basis of the soil food web and essential for plant production.
But when the composition of the soil is unbalanced plant production is jeopardized. So, like any other responsible farmer, you need to understand just what your soil is composed of and how to optimize it.
For most edible crops, a good soil composition would include approximately 5% organic matter. Calculate the amount of compost needed for each raised planter or raised bed in your Lab assuming that your starting soil has no organic matter at all. How do you make that calculation? By weight or volume?
What else is in the soil? Estimate the percentage of clay, sand, and silt using the Mason Jar Soil Test to get a full view of the composition of your soil.
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