SEASON 1 – SOIL

Episode 3 “Try This At Home”

While some of you have been ploughing the fields and trotting the livestock around since you were knee-high to a grasshopper, many of you may be first-time or early-onset gardeners. We’re here to teach you a trick or two to identifying your soil at home.

This will, depending on the greenness of your thumb, result in your ability to improve the health of your soil, and ultimately, your plants.

FUN FACTS

In agriculture, soil tests are routinely done to aid the farmer in the understanding of his soil health. While gardeners can make use of these agricultural services, getting a laboratory analysis done is relatively expensive, technical and time-consuming. Easy-to-use DIY Test Kits for Gardens are not yet readily available and as such, comprehensive ‘soil testing’ is seldom done.

There are two uncomplicated Do-It-Yourself soil tests; both of which are employed by every child who has ever played in the mud. Ever.

THE BALL TEST

That’s right, this time you’re making a soil ball!

Guide: 

  1. Wet an area of soil
  2. Collect a handful of soil
  3. Roll it into a ball

THE SAUSAGE TEST

Three guesses for the aim of this one? That’s right. You’re making soil-sossies

Guide:

  1. Wet an area of soil
  2. Collect a handful of soil
  3. Roll it into a sausage shape and gently bend

Sandy: It is very crumbly and breaks before bending.

Clay: It bends and holds its shape without breaking

Loamy: It holds its shape and then breaks slightly when bending – this is ideal!