View Full Version : Mason Jar Soil Texture Test: What Should the Colors be?

01-10-2011, 12:06 AM
The process is putting the sample in a jar, adding water, and letting the different components--sand, silt, and clay--precipitate out at their indiviual rates. Sand first, then silt, then loam.

I did the test, but can't read it. It seems that the entire jar is one material. They say sand should collect in a few minutes, silt in a few hours, and clay can take days. Days later, the top is still cloudy (clay) and the bottom is really one color. I have no idea if it is silt or clay, although it seemed to precipitate out in the first few hours.

Rutgers did a soil test and reported Silt Loam: 28% Sand, 51% Silt, 22% Clay and 1.6% organic matter. From what I've read, their reported CEC of 11.8 implies that clay isn't domininent.

This is a picture of the jar. You can see it basically one dark material and a very, very thin layer of something darker while the solution is still cloudy.

01-10-2011, 05:04 AM
This document explains the test and adds the ball test, ribbon test, grittiness test, and smoothness test.