The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 1: Earths and Soils

Specimens for chemical analysis and testing of soils

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1189. In selecting specimens, where the general nature of the soil is to be ascertained, portions of it should be taken from different places, two or three inches below the surface, and examined as to the similarity of their properties. It sometimes happens, that upon plains, the whole of the upper stratum of the land is of the same kind, and in this case, one analysis will be sufficient: but in valleys, and near the beds of rivers, there are very great differences, and it now and then occurs that one part of the surface is calcareous, and another part siliceous; and in this case, and in analogous cases, the portions different from each other should be separately submitted to experiment. Soils, when collected, if they cannot be immediately examined, should be preserved in phials quite filled with them, and closed with ground gloss stoppers. The quantity of soil most convenient for a perfect analysis is from two to four hundred grains. It should be collected in dry weather, and exposed to the atmosphere till it becomes dry to the touch.