• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

mason jar soil tests  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22352
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to encourage people to take a soil sample, mix it with water in a mason jar, let it set for a couple of days and then post the results here.

I would like to use these pictures in the upcoming "world domination gardening" 3-DVD set.

 
Steve Hoskins
Posts: 65
Location: NW lower Michigan
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm up for it.
For the sake of comparison, do you want to establish an amount of soil, and an amount of water? Quart mason jar?
 
john giroux
Posts: 149
Location: Cumming, GA
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is this to show the sand clay organics layering?
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Steve Hoskins wrote:I'm up for it.
For the sake of comparison, do you want to establish an amount of soil, and an amount of water? Quart mason jar?


How about two cups of soil, then fill the rest of the mason jar with water? I've been told a drop of soap helps.
 
Lindsay Hodge
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We'll Jon the fun! How much dirt and water, etc.?
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Could someone post a couple informative links on this mason jar soil test concept for us newbie to educate ourselves with?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22352
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Steve Hoskins wrote:I'm up for it.
For the sake of comparison, do you want to establish an amount of soil, and an amount of water? Quart mason jar?



Quart jar. Half water.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22352
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
john giroux wrote:Is this to show the sand clay organics layering?


Yes!

 
Becky Mundt
Posts: 47
Location: Cascadia Zone 8b Clay
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We did this test last year. If not, I'll do it again.
We followed the instructions in The Intelligent Gardener and it was quite hysterical.
We set the jar on the counter for TWO WEEKS.
It never cleared even one tiny bit.
Our soil is - wait for it - ALL CLAY.

Our swale needed drainage holes. rofl.
We are putting in french drains and swales both because the water
doesn't move otherwise, except in deep gullies worn over the years
of no one doing anything on this property.
We won't need pond liners, either.

For the gardens and planting areas we are building up from the top of the
existing soil. As he said in the book - if it's more than 3/4 clay, just consider it the
subsoil and build from there... so that is what we are doing.

If we didn't take pictures I can do it again for you. I'm sure it will be the same!
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 781
Location: Longbranch, WA
44
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can contrast my sandy soil and my clay soil.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3567
Location: Anjou ,France
170
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Er.... Mmmmmmmm I am not sure what a mason jar is ?
maybe we call them something else here in France

David
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
mason jars are canning jars, the clear glass jars used in canning. i wonder if mason is a brand or how that word came into being used.
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
13
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Olivia Helmer wrote: i wonder if mason is a brand


Sort of...They were invented/patented in 1858 by John Landis Mason. The most common U.S. brands of Mason jars are Ball and Kerr.

 
Jeff Bartol
Posts: 29
Location: East MN, SW WI
4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our "brown stuff" is still under "white stuff"
 
Sam Barber
Posts: 641
Location: Missoula Mt
41
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some samples from the pond site as well as the swale site from the Earthworks workshop.
mason-jar-soiltest.jpg
[Thumbnail for mason-jar-soiltest.jpg]
 
Sam Barber
Posts: 641
Location: Missoula Mt
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some from the hugelkultur/lemon tree site.
masonjar-soil-test.jpg
[Thumbnail for masonjar-soil-test.jpg]
masonjar-soil-test2.jpg
[Thumbnail for masonjar-soil-test2.jpg]
masonjar-soil-test3.jpg
[Thumbnail for masonjar-soil-test3.jpg]
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These past couple of days have been a washout of flooding and hail and I'm itching to put some soil in some jars
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 679
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are our from last year - 3 different areas on our VA clay goodness.
mason-jar-soil-test.jpg
[Thumbnail for mason-jar-soil-test.jpg]
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
Steve Hoskins wrote:I'm up for it.
For the sake of comparison, do you want to establish an amount of soil, and an amount of water? Quart mason jar?



Quart jar. Half water.


OK, heading out. Quart jar, half water, how much soil? Drop of soap?
 
Gail Saito
Posts: 88
Location: Medford, OR
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
soil sample from the Rogue Valley, OR

Upon closer look, there appears to be a gritty level at the bottom and a muddy one above that, then the water and organic matter. I am guessing the level above the grit is the clay.?
mason-jar-soil-test2.jpg
[Thumbnail for mason-jar-soil-test2.jpg]
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5909
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
365
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
half soil and half water, shook it up and waited a couple days, soil from the yard and two main growing areas. Pictures have one with a back drop that shows the soil layers and particles better, I think, and one without.
dirt-001.jpg
[Thumbnail for dirt-001.jpg]
dirt-002.jpg
[Thumbnail for dirt-002.jpg]
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been waiting to see if the water would get clearer but I guess this is as clear as it wants to get. I will leave it though and post another picture if it clears up significantly more.
This is from my backyard which is a Bishop Pine forest in California.

 
joseph wittenberg
Posts: 57
Location: aguanga, california
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This has been sitting for 4 days. Taken right outside of our back door in Aguanga, California
soiltest-jar.jpg
[Thumbnail for soiltest-jar.jpg]
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Better late than never. This clay is never going to clear.

 
Daniel Kern
Posts: 197
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is 3 soil samples from 3 distinct locations. The 1st sample on the left has No growth whatsoever on it, and there are a few patches nearby that are similar. the muddle sample is regular garden soil that is lacking in some regards. the sanple on the right is in an area that does not drain quickly. water will pool up here for a week or more.
jar-soil-test-3.jpg
[Thumbnail for jar-soil-test-3.jpg]
t-0
jar-soil-test-3a.jpg
[Thumbnail for jar-soil-test-3a.jpg]
t-30min
jar-soil-test-3b.jpg
[Thumbnail for jar-soil-test-3b.jpg]
t-3days
 
Mike Sved
Posts: 42
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had expected a high amount of clay but my jar cleared up pretty quickly. The material at the '5 min' line settled down to the current state in a few hours. I'm not sure if there's any clay in here. Am I wrong to consider this a sandy loam?
mason-jar-soiltest.jpg
[Thumbnail for mason-jar-soiltest.jpg]
 
Dave Burton
pollinator
Posts: 1026
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
109
bike books forest garden tiny house transportation urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is what the soil in my area (Katy, TX) looks like:
By using the soil by feel chart, the soil where I live is a silty clay loam. By using the calculations and a soil triangle chart, the soil in my area is on the border between silty clay and a silty clay loam.
photo-1.JPG
[Thumbnail for photo-1.JPG]
This is the 2.5 cups mason jar with a measuring tape by it. I did not have a quart mason jar on hand.
photo-5.JPG
[Thumbnail for photo-5.JPG]
This is the soil ribbon.
photo-3.JPG
[Thumbnail for photo-3.JPG]
These are my calculations.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
Posts: 2577
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
500
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like the instructions for this test which were published by Colorado State University Extension:
Estimating Soil Texture -- Sandy, Loamy, or Clayey?

It recommends measuring the sand layer after one minute, and the silt level after 2 hours, and the clay layer after days or weeks.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
Posts: 2577
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
500
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's what the mason jar soil test looks like for my kitchen garden, I started the test 2 days ago...

clay 5%
silt 61%
sand 34%

That would make it a silt loam.
mason-jar-soil-test-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for mason-jar-soil-test-2.jpg]
mason jar soil composition test
using-soil-triangle.png
[Thumbnail for using-soil-triangle.png]
Using soil triangle to classify soil type
 
brevity is the soul of wit - shakepeare. Tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!