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what does it means white soil?  RSS feed

 
Ronaldo Montoya
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Hi, in some parts of my land the surface of the land is white. What does it mean?



 
Terri Matthews
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Location: Eastern Kansas
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What state do you live in?

There is caliche soil, there might be salt deposits, and there are probably other reasons soil might be white. Knowing the state would help to pin it down.
 
Dave Lodge
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Location: New England
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Limestone is chalky in color, maybe?
 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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Volcanic ash and natural deposits of diatoms also are white. Can you describe the soil a bit more? Like if I had just plowed and found a band of white between two normal looking soils around here my money would be on volcanic ash.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Ronaldo Montoya wrote: the surface of the land is white.




missed that surface bit. Could be salts. Pictures, Location, and land use history?
 
John Elliott
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As has been mentioned, there are a number of soil components that can be white: caliche, limestone, sand, gypsum, etc. There is also white clay -- kaolin.

However, in order to maintain a pristine white look to the surface, it has to lack one thing: organic matter. Anything organic, leaves, pine needles, manure, rotting wood, these are going to end up some shade of brown and darken the white of the inorganic soil matrix. One of our first rules of permaculture is to mulch, mulch, mulch. We want rich dark soils that have a high content of organic matter, so white is an indication that this is missing and the soil needs to be amended.
 
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