Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ribbon Test

On Thursday this week, I did a Ribbon Test on my Grab Sample in my Soil and Water Science lab. It might sound like I'm speaking a foreign language, so let me break it down.

A Grab Sample is just taking a section of dirt with your shovel... Easy enough. There's more specific details to taking one though. You're supposed to clean your shovel with rubbing alcohol, then dig a hole... Then take only a certain portion of the soil that you get on your shovel (I'm sure you could find more details if you Google it, if you're curious about doing one). I didn't know the details when I got my sample, so I just dug a hole.

A Ribbon Test is a test you do to find out what kind of soil you have...This is a Soil Triangle:

You will have a kind of soil that is on that diagram. Anyhow, you make sure your soil is nice and wet, and then you roll it between your thumb and forefinger to try and create a ribbon (again- something you can Google if you're cuious). Depending on how long your ribbon stays together (that is in length, not duration), and the texture you feel with your hand, you can determine what kind of soil you have.

My soil sample was Sandy Clay Loam.

I will be taking an official sample this weekend using a different kind of tool, and I will be taking pictures, so stay tuned!

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