Help with my Mason Jar Soil Test


#1

Can someone please give me some opinions on my mason jar soil test? The pic below is my jar after about 2.5 weeks. I don’t think the water is going to clear up any more. Maybe because I accidentally used liquid dish soap instead of powdered dish washing detergent?

I made some marks after 1 minute and 2 hours, but I’m sure if I labeled them correctly. Based on my labels, I have no clay, which I don’t think is right.

Can someone please help me understand my mason jar results?


#2

I would go with loony sand?


#3

Thanks for the suggestion. So you think it’s loamy sand, which is mostly sand, with a little bit of clay, and no silt?


#4

Here’s another picture, close up. So is most of this stuff sand, with just a little strip of clay on the top? How do I even tell what is sand vs clay vs silt? It all just looks like brown mush to me. Thanks!


#5

i think its close to that, but this is not the important part. the most important part is to use the geo soil database to determine your awc and configure that in advanced zone settings.


#6

Thanks for the detailed explanation. And in fact it looks like your interpretation is pretty spot on. Based on my jar, you said loamy sand (0.50in/hr). The Soil Map for that section of my lawn came back as the following, which is basically sandy loam / loamy sand:

KnuB Knickerbocker - Urban land, Knickerbocker substratum complex, 0 to 8 percent slopes
Typical profile
National map unit symbol: w8q1
Ap - 0 to 8 inches: fine sandy loam
Bw - 8 to 23 inches: fine sandy loam
BC - 23 to 34 inches: loamy fine sand
C1 - 34 to 42 inches: loamy fine sand
C2 - 42 to 51 inches: loamy fine sand
C3 - 51 to 60 inches: loamy fine sand

But the Soil Physical Properties -> Available Water Capacity states 0.10 inches per inch weighted average for all soil layers (current Available Water setting is 0.07). So is it correct to set my soil type to either loamy sand or sandy loam, and change my Available Water from 0.07 to 0.10?

Or if you know of a guide for using the Web Soil Survey to set Rachio values, please let me know.

Thanks!


#7

Yea change it


#8

Time for round two! What we saw before was my backyard. This second jar is my front yard. What kind of soil do you think I have? Thanks!


#9

@ydermenj – has the soil settled anymore since the last photo you posted? Looks like your front lawn had some extra soil prep done to it – which is why you’re seeing the darker material. You likely have some loam (darker material) in the front yard but it appears to be minor compared to the sand (lighter material).

Feel free to post another photo if it looks any different now.


#10

@emil, thanks for your response. Here is a new picture, after a full month of settling. The water sitting on top is not as dark anymore, though there’s no appreciable difference to the thickness of the matter layers.

I would believe that some work may have been done in the front. I myself added about 2 inches of top soil last year. But I wouldn’t expect that to have an impact, since I dug down about 6 inches before taking this sample.