Test for proper drainage - Knowledgebase Question

Staten Island, Ne
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Question by mlyledavis
July 7, 2010
I didn

Answer from NGA
July 7, 2010

In order to properly test your garden soil you will need to begin by digging holes in multiple locations. These holes should be about a foot and a half deep and around six inches wide.

In each hole you will need to put a rod or measuring stick inside. Stick it into the ground at the bottom of the holes.

The day before you begin to do your actual testing, you should put water in the holes. Allow all of the water to be drained away before you do anything else. After the water has successfully drained, you will need to once again fill the hole with water, all the way to the top this time. To be sure that the top of the hole that you have dug is completely even - you may want to use a level.

Once an hour has passed you will need to begin to measure the water level in the hole. Check on a regular basis you should measure and check so that you can keep track of how quickly the water is absorbing into the soil.

If you are measuring less than a half of an inch of water drainage in an hour this means that your soil has a very poor quality of drainage.

If your water drains right at a half inch in an hour this means that while your soil is slow to drain it is adequate for most plants.

Anywhere from one to four inches within an hour means that you will have a lot of luck when planting most types of flowers and plants.

Anything that is more than four inches in an hour is considered very fast draining.

The water should be completely drained out of the hole within four to six hours. This is the ideal amount for your soil. Anything more than eight hours is far too slow to be able to grow most different types of plants or flowers.

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