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We can also learn things about soil by feeling a soil’s texture.  Soil texture tells you how much sand, silt, and clay is in a soil, kind of like a recipe for cookies tells you how much flour, sugar, and chocolate chips to use. 

 

picture of a ribbon made of soil You can figure out a soil’s texture: take a handful of soil, add water, mix it up, and make a ball of mud in your hand.   You don’t want to add too much water—if it feels like Play-doh, it’s just about right.  Then, you can press the mud ball into a ribbon, just like you see in the picture.  If you can make nice long ribbons like these, then you would be able to tell that your soil had a lot of clay in it.  If your soil feels gritty and won’t really make a ribbon, then you could guess that your soil has a lot of sand in it. 

 

Knowing what the texture of a soil is can be really useful for figuring out what you can use the soil for.  Some soils are good for growing crops, while other soils shouldn’t be farmed.  Some soils can support the huge weight of a building, while others cannot.  Can you think of any examples? picture explaning the different types of soil and this particular image shows the leaning tower of pisa

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