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Thinking Thursday: Soil Experiment Part 2 - Results

Did you know that there are different types of soil?  You have probably seen a few different types in your lifetime, but have you ever wondered what makes each type different?  Last week, we learned about the different soil particles and did an experiment to see how much of each particle you have in your soil.  Today, we’ll continue our experiment and learn how to use the results of your experiment to determine what type of soil you have!

Find a helpful video on how to use your results and read a soil texture triangle below:

Soil Experiment Results

Materials

  • Results from Soil Particle Experiment Jar (last week’s experiment)
  • Soil Texture Triangle (you can find one pictured below – I found this one at nrcs.usda.gov.

Instructions

  1. Grab your results from last week.  Remember when I asked you to figure out what percent of each soil particle you had?  You’ll need those numbers today.
  2. Looking at your soil texture triangle, you will see that there are a lot of different options for what type of soil you can have.  Let’s start with marking our percentages out:
    1. Across the bottom of the soil texture triangle, you will see the word “Sand”.  Using your results, place a dot on this line with what percent sand you have (i.e., I had XX% sand in my jar, so I would place a dot on XX%).  Once you have your dot, follow the line on the triangle toward the left side of the triangle.
    2. Across the left side of the soil texture triangle, you will see the word “Clay”.  Using your results, place a dot on this line with what percent clay you have (i.e., I had XX% clay in my jar, so I would place a dot on XX%).  Once you have your dot, follow the line on the triangle toward the right side of the triangle.
    3. Across the right of the soil texture triangle, you will see the word “Silt”.  Using your results, place a dot on this line with what percent silt you have (i.e., I had XX% silt in my jar, so I would lace a dot on the XX%).  Once you have your dot, follow the line on the triangle toward the bottom of the triangle.
  3. Do all your lines intersect at one point?  Great!  Where that intersection is determines what type of soil you have.  You can use this information when you are planning what to plant in your garden or what to use in your landscaping.

 

You can find part one of the soil experiment here.

Thinking Thursday projects will be posted each Thursday (except for holidays) throughout the museum closure for COVID-19.  For a full list of previous projects, visit our Thinking Thursday website.

Questions? Contact Sarah, the museum's education coordinator.