Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sampling soil at Lincoln Elementary

                                                                                                                               Kayla Kinsel 
Our group of Lincoln Elementary kids were excited about soil sampling before we even stepped foot outside! They loved the fact that they were going to be touching and scooping soil. As soon as they touched the  soil, you could see the excitement on their faces. Both of the kids wanted to take their samples home and show their parents.

After looking at the soil from both the garden and lawn, the kids came to the conclusion that the soil in the garden would be better to grow plants because they could feel and see a difference in the texture. Also from past knowledge knowing that soil in gardens have more nutrients for the plants to grow better. The kids knew what photosynthesis is and what plants need to grow; sunlight, water, air, and nutrients.

Soil texture relates to soil health because soil texture determines the rate at which water drains through a wet soil. Water can move more easily through sandy soils than it can through clayey soils. Soil texture also impacts how much water is available to the plant. Soil that has a higher clay content has a greater water holding capacity than sandy soils. Soils also differ in their susceptibility to erosion based on texture. A soil with a high % of silt and clay particles has a greater erodibility than a sandy soil. Differences in soil texture also impacts organic matter. As you can see all of these factors relate to soil health.

Soil color relates to soil health by determining the nutrients found within the soil. Dark brown or black colored soil indicates its high organic matter content and fertility.

Healthy soil is shown in this first picture. The soil is dark which shows the high nutrient levels within the soil.
This picture shows clay soil. It has a different texture than the soil in the first picture and is a lighter, more orange/yellow color.


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