Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread (Soil Types) Vol. 4, January 27, 2012
Posted on 01/27/2012 10:40:54 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
I have a dear friend and neighbor who is elderly and not in the best of health. Day in and day out during gardening season she sits at her kitchen table and watches me work in my yard and garden, living vicariously through me. Once or twice a week I'll take her some vegetables and we discuss gardening, which was such an important part of her earlier years. You can see the love of gardening in her eyes every time we have a talk. I asked her one day to tell me the difference between dirt and soil. Soil, she stated matter-of-factly, was the ground that God provided to feed us well. Dirt, she continued, is what you have under your fingernails after you've worked in the soil. Pretty good description, if you ask me.
Actually, there is a difference that is considered a bit more scientific. Soil is a collection of minerals, air, water, animals and other living matter (and their wastes or decaying bodies) that accumulate in layers and become compacted over time. Indeed, soils are laid down in discrete layers and whose compositions vary over time and space. Soil is the diverse but integrated community of living and inanimate things that make up the ground beneath our feet.
So what exactly is dirt? Its a group of runaways or kidnapped individuals that used to be part of the soil. Dirt cant easily be associated with where it was born and grew up. In a sense, dirt is particles of soil that have been rendered anonymous. Sounds like my friend is even wiser than I ever imagined.
Did you know that each of the 50 US states have a State Soil? Neither did I. It was interesting that none of the soil types we have on our homestead or farm are the type that is Louisianas State Soil. (Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat to view each individual state in the list, but you do not need Acrobat to view the description of State Soils.)
In preparing for this weeks thread, I thought I had good knowledge of the 4 basic soil types of soil in the US. I remembered clay, silt, sand, and loam from Ag class in my days of FFA. There is also a little peat in the swampy areas here in Louisiana, but there is not enough peat in the US to register as a basic soil type. Well, I didn't know near as much as I first thought.
Did you know that soil is classified into different orders just like plants are classified into different types? Twelve different soil orders exist, and within these orders are different suborders. Soils are composed of different percentages of clay, sand and loam. Each type has different moisture, mineral and organic content. The environment where the soil is found plays heavily into the soil composition. It is well worth the time to read about soil classifications as written in eHow.com.
After determining the type of soil you are working with in your garden, you will need to test your soil before planting so that you can get the most out of all the hard work. I can't emphasize enough the importance of this step. You can spend a lot of money on fertilizers that will not be absorbed by your plants unless the pH of your soil is in the proper range.
Simple pH soil test kits are available at most garden centers and nurseries and can be easily performed following the directions on the kit. More detailed soil tests are available through your county's extension office. It may take a couple of weeks or more to get the results, so now is definitely the time to be contacting your extension service.
Please add any knowledge you have to the thread. Have you successfully amended your soil type to improve production? Any tips you've learned in working with your particular soil type? This is intended only as a jumping-off point. Please share and, above all, enjoy!
The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.
This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you wont be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!
Next week: The first in a series on soil structure
Mild temps continue here. Man I hope nothing starts budding.
Detailed State Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
|Alabama||District of Columbia
||Kentucky||Montana||Ohio||Texas ( East )|
|Alaska||Florida||Louisiana||Nebraska||Oklahoma||Texas ( West )|
|California ( Northern )
||Idaho||Massachusetts||New Jersey||Puerto Rico||Virginia
|California ( Southern )||Illinois||Michigan||New Mexico||Rhode Island||Washington|
|Colorado||Indiana||Minnesota||New York||South Carolina
|Connecticut||Iowa||Mississippi||North Carolina||South Dakota||Wisconsin|
MYAKKA must be the fancy name for sugar sand.
Jed Clampett: Why, we could grow corn right here out front!
Miss Hathaway: You can’t grow Corn here! This is Beverly Hills!
Jed Clampett: Dirt is DIRT.
Great article about soil types! Thank You! :-)
All of our elm trees have completely budded. Undoubtedly, they will get nipped before Spring arrives. We have been as high as 81 degrees this past week.
Thank you! I love the Beverly Hillbillies (the original series).
Greetings from southern New Hampshire, where the sad job of cleaning up after the fatal coop fire starts tomorrow.
Monday morning, our chicken coop burned to the ground, killing all 14 chickens and all 5 Indian Runner ducks. Not just barnyard animals, but family members. The cause is not certain. Most likely a falling heat lamp knocked down by a duck, but arson has not been entirely ruled out. A neighbor had complained about the ducks and the coop last year.
We have ordered chicks and ducklings. The latter are due in the week after next. Plans for Coop II are well along and it will be better, safer and more convenient.
Time to order seeds.
The other thing that has been on my mind is a seed-swapping list, where we can each list an extra seeds that we have on hand that we are willing to donate to another member, or willing to swap for something that we need.
I believe it was Mrs. don-o that kept the list last year. I was able to acquire some really neat seeds from members of our group, and would like to get this feature up and working again in our weekly thread.
Please let me know by posting to this thread if you have any seeds that you'd be interested in parting with. I'll do my best to get the swap going again and each member can send each other FReepmail if there is a request.
All good ideas...
Me Too! And “Green Acres” was good too!
Same in Red Hampshire...snowmobiling and ski industries taking it in the neck.
Garden-fresh veggies w/ a dip of Lemon Garlic Aioli.
Thank you so much for the feedback, RD. That helps me know if I'm doing this right :)
I'll be following your rebuild on Facebook. I'd put a trail cam somewhere near the new coop, just to be sure on that arson thing. Good quality stills and videos can be had for under $100 these days.
I’m in Ct., and my crocus started popping up a few weeks ago. It’s been unseasonable warm here. We’ve since had a little snow and they seem to have gone dormant. No sign of my tulips or daffs yet, thank goodness!
Where do you order your seeds from? I’m a gardener and I get most of my veggie seeds from Baker Creek Seed Co. They’re all heirloom varieties, and you can request a free catalog. it’s SO worth checking out.
Really sorry about your fire and the loss of your animals. :-(
Sorry for the loss of your property. Sounds like you need some video on the new coop also, if your neighbor did it once he will try again.
I don't have to tell you who never makes it onto the local 'free eggs' list. :-)
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