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Check Your Soil

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Description

  • Fill the holes with water, and time how long it takes the water to drain away; two to three hours after the hole has emptied, refill it, and again time the interval it takes for it to empty.

  • Fill the holes with water, and time how long it takes the water to drain away; two to three hours after the hole has emptied, refill it, and again time the interval it takes for it to empty.

  • Then calculate the rate of drainage by dividing the total depth of the water (24 inches) by the total number of hours it took for the hole to empty two times. An average rate of an inch of water lost per hour makes a "well-drained" soil, which is best for vegetable plants.

A substantially faster rate is typical of a "sharply drained" soil, one that dries out quickly, and unless enriched with water-retaining compost, is suitable mainly for drought-tolerant plants.

A drainage rate markedly slower than an inch per hour indicates poorly drained soil, which will probably drown the roots of most plants.

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