How to Read a Soil Texture Chart Clay percentages are read across the triangle from left to right. Silt is read from top to bottom, from right to left. The sand is read from the triangle's lower right to its top left corner. The limits of the soil texture classes are shown by a thicker line. For example, if 10% clay was indicated on the chart, that would be like marking the point where the thick black line crosses the side of the triangle.
Soils contain different amounts of each type of particle. Sand is hard and smooth; silt is soft and can range in size from less than 0.05 mm to more than 2 mm; and clay is very sticky and tends to be gray or brown in color.
Soil textures are used to describe how much clay, silt, and sand there is in the soil. These descriptions help scientists know what kind of plants might grow in the area and give them some idea of how to manage the land.
The amount of each type of particle in soil varies depending on what part of the country you are in. On average, sands are found in areas where there is little vegetation because the soil is exposed to wind and water. Silt soils occur where there is medium vegetation cover. And finally, clay soils are only found where there is heavy vegetation coverage because the roots create an environment rich in nutrients and moisture.
The optimal soil texture is a loam, which is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay particles. The more organic matter in the soil, the better for improving water-holding capacity. Texture also plays a role in determining how easily plants will grow in the soil.
Soil testing can help determine what type of soil needs to be added to improve its quality or differancy.
Also called moldiness. The amount of organic material in soil determines how friable it is. If there's a lot of organic matter, such as manure, then the soil tends to be loose and fluffy. If there's not much organic matter, like in most urban soils, then the soil is compacted down and lacks air space between its particles.
In general, if you were to pick up a piece of soil and squeeze it, you should be able to feel some resistance. This means that the soil has enough organic matter present to make it resilient when pressed together. If you can roll it around in your hand without feeling any holes, then you have a very sandy soil. Soils with this type of texture are easy to work with because they're light and don't require much moisture to cultivate.
A silty clay soil with a silt content of 50 to 70%. Clay particles are larger than 2.5 microns and include sand, silt, and clay. Silica (silicon dioxide) is the key ingredient in clay, which makes it very important in soil science. Without clay, soil would not be able to retain water and nutrients, which are essential for plant growth.
Clay soils are known for their ability to hold moisture and nutrients for long periods of time while other types of soils tend to be dry or excessively moistened. This is because clay particles attract and bind any excess water that comes into contact with them, preventing it from soiling lower-quality particles below. The size of these clay particles determines how much water can be held by the soil before it becomes saturated. Larger clay particles can store more water than smaller ones; this is called the "grit value" of the soil.
The type of clay present in soil affects how easily it can be eroded. Erosion is the process by which dirt and rock fragments are removed from the earth's surface. Eroding clays lose some of their strength and may even break down completely if they are exposed to water for long periods of time.
For example, a clay loam texture soil contains about equal amounts of sand, silt, and clay. The weathering process causes this textural distinction. This is an illustration that compares the sizes of sand, silt, and clay. The size of any given particle is expressed in microns (μ). Large objects such as sand and gravel are made up of many small particles called silts or clays.
The word "loam" comes from the English language words "lodge" and "leach". Lodge means to bury something deeply, and leach means to take out slowly. So, "loam" means a mixture of fine earth and organic matter that has been deeply buried and slowly brought back to the surface.
Clay soils are those containing more than 5% clay by weight. If there are other minerals present they will reduce the ability of the soil to hold water and drain it quickly. Therefore, clay soils should be supplemented with aggregate materials such as rock dust, wood chips, or coco peat if used as a growing medium.
Soils contain many different types of particles that range in size from 1 nanometer (nm) to 100 micrometers (um). These include sand, silt, and clay. The term "loam" is used for a mixture of sand, silt, and clay.