Friday, April 11, 2014

Do You Know What Type of Soil You Have?

When I took Master Gardener classes a few years ago, we looked at soil maps that plotted the soil type in our county.  What I found fascinating is how accurate it was.  Romie and I had remarked once how you could dig a hole to plant a tree in one part of the yard and just 20 feet away, the soil was entirely different.  One was heavy, mucky clay, and the other was noticeably less sticky.

If you have clay soil, you'll recognize this!

A friend of mine shared a website earlier today on Facebook that looked intriguing, so I thought I'd share it with you. Kelly posted a link to FarmLogs, a website intended to be an aid to farmers, but we're farmers, right?  We grow food and other things that need soil.

When you enter your address, you'll see a satellite photo of your property.  Then you draw a line around the boundary of that property.  The site then shows you a "map" of the specific soil type for that land.  There's other helpful information given too, such as rainfall amounts for the last 24 hours, the last week, and the year-to-date.

Here's my soil map:

Our two types of soil are:
  • Nappanee Silty Clay Loam -  The Nappanee series consists of very deep, somewhat poorly drained soils that are moderately deep or deep to dense till. They formed in clayey till on wave-worked till plains, till-floored lake plains, till plains, and moraines.
  • Hoytville Silty Clay - The Hoytville series consists of very deep, very poorly drained soils that are deep or very deep to dense till. They formed in till that has been leveled by wave action and are on lake plains.

Yes, that's right - clay soil that doesn't drain very well.  I didn't need a soil map to tell me that, but it's still interesting all the same!


Garden Fancy said...

That is a very cool site! Thanks so much for sharing the link. (Ladoga silt loam and Colo-Ely complex, in Iowa) -Beth

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Great resource, and it's very specific. Most of the soil here in Southern Wisconsin, in general, is like Illinois and Iowa soil--very deep and rich silt/loam. Of course, every garden and plot of land has unique patches, but I rarely have to amend my soil, except with a little compost to keep it healthy. Thanks for sharing the link!

Mike the Gardener said...

Thank you for spreading the word about this helpful information.

Kylee Baumle said...

Beth (Garden Fancy) ~ I thought it was cool, too! It's fun to find these things out.

Beth (Plant Postings) ~ You're SO lucky! Even though I amend my soil regularly, it's like the clay EATS it or rises to the surface and is determined to remain poorly drained!

Mike ~ It was my pleasure! Good to see you here!

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