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What you need:
  • Quart glass jar
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Soil
Knowing the make-up of your soil can be very helpful in determining its cultural requirements. Take several soil samples from the area in question and mix them all together in a bucket. Remove any rocks or other debris.
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Next, fill a quart glass jar 2/3 with water.
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Add enough soil to raise the water level to the rim of the jar. Screw the lid securely on and shake the jar vigorously to mix the soil and water together. Once the contents are thoroughly mixed together, add a little dishwashing detergent to the jar to help separate the soil particles.
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Let the jar sit overnight. The next day the individual components of the soil should be separated. The bottom layer will be sand, the middle layer will be silt and the top layer will be clay. By noting the approximate percentages of each soil component you can get a rough idea of the basic make-up of your soil.