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What does the soil map really tell us?

 
Isaiah Ari Mattathias
Posts: 80
Location: Oregon
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When you look at a soil map, and there are say 10+ different soils on a property, what does that tell you as an experienced permaculturist?
Are there any databases or resources you frequent that indicate what grows best in different types of soils? Or is this not too much of a concern? Just wondering how different existing soil types can factor into a total overall master plan.
 
Earl Aarsrood
Posts: 14
Location: Wisconsin zone 3/4
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All I've ever gotten from a soil map is that I have really shitty soil, which is something that I already knew from digging in it (2in of topsoil on top of glacial clay. yuck).

It can be really useful for figuring out where you might wish to locate elements on your property or for planting this or that.

www.pfaf.org is really useful for finding plants to grow on your soil
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1992
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
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Isaiah Ari Mattathias wrote:When you look at a soil map, and there are say 10+ different soils on a property, what does that tell you as an experienced permaculturist?
Are there any databases or resources you frequent that indicate what grows best in different types of soils? Or is this not too much of a concern? Just wondering how different existing soil types can factor into a total overall master plan.


Soil maps are useful for determining where to take soil tests, usually will indicate friability of each individual area and give you an idea of what's laying under the top layer. PH is usually the main determining factor for what will grow best in any particular segment of the soil map. When you have a map of your land, have each segment tested and marked with the results of its test, you end up with a road map to follow for amending each segment and building that particular area for optimum grown of what you wish to plant there. It is also a good thing to have should you need to argue to a board of equalization on the Assessor's valuation of your land, it could help you get a reduction in your tax bill if the Assessor didn't take the usefulness of the land into account when they valued your land.
 
Isaiah Ari Mattathias
Posts: 80
Location: Oregon
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Soil maps are useful for determining where to take soil tests, usually will indicate friability of each individual area and give you an idea of what's laying under the top layer. PH is usually the main determining factor for what will grow best in any particular segment of the soil map. When you have a map of your land, have each segment tested and marked with the results of its test, you end up with a road map to follow for amending each segment and building that particular area for optimum grown of what you wish to plant there. It is also a good thing to have should you need to argue to a board of equalization on the Assessor's valuation of your land, it could help you get a reduction in your tax bill if the Assessor didn't take the usefulness of the land into account when they valued your land.


Curious about this one. How could one evaluate the present assessment and locate potential anomalies?
btw I'm learning more from http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx - it has some good features that tell you potential of production, where to best build on the site etc..
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 1992
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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Every Assessor's office has to keep these records, they are a matter of public record and you should be able to get a copy of the property card information at no charge or a small document fee. The property card should have all the information used in determining the valuation of the property listed on it including the soil coding if they use that for their determination.
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