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

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DavidNJ, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    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.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  2. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

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