APES soils lab
Soil sample location:
Soil sample depth:
Soil team members:
- what color is the soil?
- is it clumped or dusty?
- when you grab in your fist, does it stay together?
- Sifting test:
- Mass each section of the strainer empty
- pour your sample into the strainer
- shake well
- mass each section
- subtract empty mass
- determine % for each level (mass/total mass)
- Percolation test:
- pour your complete sample into a massed paper cup
- mass the cup and sample
- punch a small hole in the bottom of the cup
- measure the depth of the soil in the sample (cm)
- pour water into the cup, while timing until water drips from the hole
- calculate cm/second for your sample
- Moisture content test:
- pour water over the sample in the percolation test until it is completely covered
- let the sample rest overnight
- mass the cup and moist soil
- subtract cup and dry soil to measure amount of water content
- calculate % water (mass of water/mass of soil)
- Chemical tests:
- mix some of your soil with water (one part soil to 5 parts water)
- filter through a coffee filter to get a clear liquid
- add the clear liquid to both sides of the soil test unit
- add the color capsule matching the test you are doing (green->green) to the smaller chamber
- shake well
- wait 10 minutes
- view in sunlight and record the color you see
In your sifting test, you record the following masses for the empty containers:
- A level (top) 174 grams
- B level 166 grams
- C level 152 grams
- D level 140 grams
- E level (bottom) 126 grams
Your sample has the following masses:
A 180 grams
B 170 grams
C 160 grams
D 160 grams
E 130 grams
- What is the total mass for your sample?
- What is the % for each layer?
- Which layer predominates?
- looking at the triangle chart, where would you classify this soil?
- In your percolation test, you measure 23 seconds for the water to travel 5.2 cm. What is the percolation rate for this soil? How would this compare to sand or clay?
- In your moisture content test, you measure 120 grams of dry soil that has mass 144 grams the next day. What is the moisture content %?
- Explain why clay soils hold water more effectively than sandy soils
- Which of the three key nutrients is critical for roots and fruits?
- Explain the 5 soil layers
- What is the perfect soil type, and why?