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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Down and Dirty Experiment 1
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Parts is Parts

Experiment 1





Is all soil the same?

soil from 3 different areas of the yard, 3 jars with lids, water

 Procedures:1. Fill each jar half full with dirt. Label each jar describing where the soil came from. 

2. Pour in water until it nearly reaches the top of each jar. 

3. Place the lids on the jars and shake. 

image of three soil samples in jars with added water. Paper with soil layers shown.


  image of a flashing light bulb

4. Let the jars stand 25-30 minutes.

5. Hold a piece of paper against the side of each jar and draw a diagram of the different layers.

6. Label each layer based on its particle size. Refer to "Dig that Stuff" for help.

7. Compare the diagrams.

Think About This:

1. Are all of your diagrams the same? What does this tell you about the soil in your yard?

2. Would this information affect where you might plant things?

3. What kinds of problems do farmers face? 


image of a litte cartoon houseimage of a childimage of a magnifying glassimage of a dump truck

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Last Modified: 12/29/2016
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