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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Activity 5
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Are All Soils Created Equal?
Activity 5



To demonstrate the natural fertility rates of three main soil types.

sand, *clay, potting soil samples, seeds, 3 small 5oz plastic drinking cups

*(If you live in the Coastal Plains of South Carolina, clay will be found as the second layer of soil in most yards after the sandy soil.)

  Procedure:1. Fill the three cups each with the same amount of soil sample. Label.

2. Plant at least four seeds in each soil sample at exactly

 Image of potting soil and clay samples
  the same depth. (If your seeds are small, plant at a shallow depth. If your seeds are large, they need to be planted deeper.)   


3. Water each with the same amount of water.

4. Place the samples in a location that receives the same amount of sunlight.

5. Cover each sample with a plastic bag to prevent evaporation.

6. Observe the samples daily for 10 days and record your observations in a table.

Soil TypeObservations12345678910
_Length of Plant (cm)__________
_Length of Plant (cm)__________
Potting SoilEmergence?__________
_Length of Plant(cm)__________


image of a flashing light bulbThink About This:

1. Which soil supported growth the best based upon first day of emergence, first day of growth, and final length of plant? Why?

image of a litte cartoon houseimage of a childimage of a moleculeimage of a dump truck

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Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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