Testing Drainage

Testing the drainage capacity of your soil is as simple as… well as simple as digging a hole. All the soil tests in the world won’t do a better job than this simple project. It will let you know how quickly moisture moves through the soil and give you a good idea of how often you will need to water. When it hasn’t rained for a week or more and the soil is dry, dig several holes that are 1’ deep x 2’ wide. Fill them to the brim with water and track of how long it takes for the holes to empty. Use the following guide to track your findings:

• 1 to 12 minutes: The soil is sharply drained and likely to be dry.

• 12 to 30 minutes: The soil has ideal drainage.

• 30 minutes to 4 hours: Drainage is slow but adequate for plants that thrive in moist soil.

• More than 4 hours: Drainage is poor and needs help.

These soil tests may seem like a lot of time and effort without much reward, but if your soil is working at its full capacity, your plants will yield the most fruit and vegetables possible; which will keep you happy, healthy and full.