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How to evalute the type of soil at ''my'' land ?

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Should i use a soil jar test?
If i take a picture can one evaluate what kind of soil might be?
Some say it is sandy and thus can not hold organic matter .On the other hand it  isvery compressed and hard
and in some section i can't even poke a hole with the pick.
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I would get a soil test done. It takes away any guess work.

You could guess and do sedimentation analyses in jars of water and squeeze loose material in your hand until the cows come home. It will tell you generalities, but not specifics.

You could dig some holes, see if there are other layers to work with, if perhaps your land is on a clay base that has had sand deposited onto it over time, or something like that. Identifying what minerals (as in rocks and pebbles) occur naturally could give some indications as to mineral content, but again, it would only be guessing.

EDIT: In the same way, you could identify what is already growing on your land. Many plants can act as indicator species, especially pioneer plants that show up to fix bad soil conditions.

You could be looking at sand over calcium-depleted clay, for instance, which would turn friable and loose just by forking in some gypsum.

But getting a soil test done will give you more information, which is what you need to make the best decisions.

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Location: West Tennessee
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If you want to learn about your soil from your home, I recommend the USDA web soil survey found here: It will tell you all sorts of neat and fun information like the name of your soil type, water holding/draining/runoff characteristics, expansiveness, erosion factors, depth to obstructions (like bedrock) and even a general % sand and clay. A lot can be learned from this tool, but it is not a replacement for a lab soil analysis
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I second that. Just get a soil test, and it will tell you everything you need to do, to have healthy soil : )
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Soil testing will give you the water soluble minerals contained, pH, CEC, and give the recommended chemical methods farmers use to grow crops.
It will also give you a base soil type, it will not give you horizon information, simply because it can't unless you are sending in core samples.

Soil maps  This is the NRCS part of the USDA, soils survey with soil maps.
This is the base information when you want to know what type of soil you have all the way down to the bed rock.
If you are improving your soil, the deeper you can do the improvements, the better.
Knowing the horizons is a good start to knowing your land.

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