Sand and silt do not have this capability. Because of its high nutrient-holding capacity, you can add more amendments than if you had a sandy soil as long as you add the right ones! You will see banding in the jar as the layers of sand, silt, and clay separate. Measure the height of the sediment in the bottom of the jar, then measure the height of each different section to determine the percentages of each. This will tell you what type of soil you have when you chart it. In this case, I had 4. Find each percentage on the chart below, and draw a line straight through the triangle at each of the percentages.
Where they intersect in the triangle will tell you what type of soil you have. Once you know the type of soil you have, you will know more about the water holding capacity, air supply, and nutrient holding capacity of your soil. Water is held in the soil by nature of the distance between the soil particles as well as the total surface area of the particles.
The greater the surface area, the more water can adhere to the particles. Silt has a smaller particle size than sand, so it will hold more water due to the smaller particles having a greater surface area if compared to the same quantity of sand. Water tends to run right through sand, and if your soil has a high sand content, it will behave very similarly.
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Pore space is the space between particles of soil. It tells us about the air supply to plant roots. The larger the pore space, the more air can reach the plant roots. Silt has a moderate level of air content. The pore space between particles is larger than with clay soils, but smaller than with sand. The water will drain out of pores when the force of gravity is greater than the force of cohesion see above , leaving air behind.
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The large particles of sand create large pores that allow for good air flow, and the small particles of silt create small pores for air flow through the soil. This also relates to compaction — if a soil is highly compacted, it will have very poor air supply due to the compression of the particles. As already mentioned, clay is a superstar when it comes to holding nutrients in the soil, particularly positively charged nutrients like calcium and magnesium and potassium. So the higher the clay content of your soil, the more nutrients it can hold.
The sedimentation test will not tell you what kind of nutrients you have in your soil, or if indeed you have any. The negative charges in your clay might be filled with hydrogen, in which case you will have a very acidic soil. But, you at least know that you have the capability of holding good nutrition if you know you have a high clay content. Please contact me LINK for more information. A good portion of my winter was spent on the laptop, creating an excel spreadsheet that will do all the hard work of calculating when to plant your seeds.
It tells you what to plant indoors ahead of time, and what to plant directly in the garden. It will give dates for planting out in cold frames, too.
AND tell you when to expect a harvest and if you can plant multiple times for extended harvest. The days are getting longer and the promise of spring is ever so slowly becoming more believable, and now is the time to start thinking about seeding indoors. Some people I know have already started onions! Seeds are awesome. I feel rich when I look in my seed box and see how many different varieties of plants I can grow.
Here are some of the reasons you might like to try growing from seed too:. You get what you want. There are so many more options when growing from seed. If you grow from seed you will NOT be at the mercy of garden centres or greenhouses where choices are limited.
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Often these places will grow what grows well, and provide a narrow range of choices. Flipping through seed catalogues, you can read descriptions, look at photos, and decide what sounds good to you, and give it a try in the garden. Controlling the process allows you to be organic or not.
You will know what the plants were treated with from the very beginning, and you can stay away from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that are often used in greenhouses. Seeds are cheaper than transplants. The bigger your garden, the more you save by starting from seed. It fills me with the wonder of life. If you grow from seed, you can save seed from the plants in your garden. This adds up to even more savings over time.
Storing seeds is kind of like banking food. The act of growing from seed, when shared with children, ensures that the basic knowledge of keeping the human race alive gets passed on to the next generation. If you have children in your life, in whatever capacity, grow a few things from seed and share the experience with them. If the timing of growing from seed seems overwhelming, you might want to try out The Planting Time Calculator. It will tell you when to start from seed, when to transplant into the garden if seeds are started indoors, when you can expect harvest, and if you can sow multiple crops in one season.
If you want to grow using cold frames, there are also dates provided for that. Good news — I found a kindred spirit on my street here in Hamilton! There are 81 varieties on her list this year, and you can order from the whole list.
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I will have a few tomatoes on offer, but please order from Janice because she is a pro. Her tomatoes will definitely be bigger and better looking than mine. We both grow organically, using organic soil and untreated seeds. You can contact us via email with your orders. Contact info is in the catalogues, but if you have trouble finding it you can connect with me via the contact link at the top of this page.
Plants will be available for pickup the week before the Victoria Day weekend. If you have any questions please let me know.
Janice and I both look forward to growing seedlings for you this year. However, if you are like me and have an addiction to seeds, it can end up costing more than you want to admit. Of course, if you end up using the saving of seeds as an excuse to buy even more rare and wonderful seeds, since you have that extra money kicking around…. I can relate. Food security — you can grow your own food, even if you suddenly find yourself unable to purchase seeds for whatever reason….!
The more people we have saving heirloom seeds, the less likely they will become extinct. Diversity is important for maintaining the health of our planet. It teaches children about the cycle of life.
If you have kids in your life, share this with them. Knowing where food comes from is a survival skill that many are lacking these days. Generally, plants within the same species will cross-pollinate. It contains Family, Genus, and Species information for vegetable plants that are grown in home gardens. The workshop will give a full explanation of isolation techniques and more information about various vegetable plants, so please come to the Seedy Saturday in Kitchener at the Country Hills Branch of the Kitchener Public Library.
My workshop is free and will take place at I hope to see you there!
Our final visit take us to Parham House and its award-winning gardens. It was featured in Simon Jenkin's England's Thousand Best Houses, where he wrote that "nothing at Parham is superfluous, nothing unloved.
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It is a house of magic. There are stunning herbaceous borders, a glasshouse, vegetable garden, orchard and a s Wendy House. A nursery and shop provides a final retail opportunity before we return to our original pick-up points in the late afternoon. Overview Special guest Availability Itinerary. Sparkling wine and three-course dinner.