|A simple detergent test enabled me to determine|
what the composition of my proposed topsoil was.
If you’ve been gardening for any length of time at all you will know that your plants are only as good as your soil. Yet what does that mean? What is ‘good’ soil?
If your soil sample looks like a piece ofPhoto credit; The Nature of Framingham
potters clay - it probably is!
|An example of root damage caused|
'How is your soil texture?' by Wayne Cahilly; a great article which includes the soil texture triangle.
'Improving clay soils' by Keith Baldwin; another first rate article from Fine Gardening. Well written and with accurate scientific information in everyday language.
pH test kits - widely available at nurseries if you want to determine how acidic/alkaline your soil is. If the pH is too low or too high the minerals in the soil are not readily available to the plants which causes its own set of problems.
Professional soil testing - to get accurate information on the levels of minerals, trace elements, pH and more. For WA State residents this is provided by the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Service, as well as private laboratories. Each State has its own cooperative extension service, usually found in the government section of the white pages. Test results take 1-3 weeks.