Know Thy Soil With This Simple Jar Test

Leilani Smith
by Leilani Smith
1 Material
Hoping to plant a garden this spring? Knowledge of your soil will help tremendously and one of the easiest ways to discover the composition of your soil is through this simple jar test. (I already knew I had sandy soil before this test, but I didn't realize how little clay I was working with.)
First, grab a quart-sized mason jar and a shovel and head to the area of your yard where you plan to have your garden. Dig a small hole, removing as much grass as possible from the soil. Fill the jar 2/3rds full with the soil.
Next, fill the jar up to just below the neck with water.
Give the jar a good long shake.
Allow the jar to sit undisturbed for at least a week. The larger particles will settle faster but it takes more time for the fine, clay particles to settle. In fact, the longer the jar sits, the more detailed the layers will be. From here you can decide how you need to mend your soil for planting.
Leilani Smith
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 9 questions
Join the conversation
2 of 101 comments