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Soil Texture

Soil texture is the percent sand, silt and clay in any given sample. It describes how gritty, smooth or sticky the soil is…
We will practice this a lot in the field, but on the exam you will need to know how to describe each of the textural classes. Below is the most common terminology:
Textural-Triangle
SAND: Will not form a ball or a ribbon; very gritty.

LOAMY SAND: Will form a weak ball, but no ribbon; very gritty.

SANDY LOAM: Will form a weak ribbon (< 1”); very gritty.

LOAM: Will form a weak (<1”) ribbon; intermediate (some) grittiness.

SILT LOAM: Will form a weak (<1”) ribbon; very smooth (little grit).

SANDY CLAY LOAM: Will form a moderate (1-2”) ribbon; very gritty.

CLAY LOAM: Will form a moderate (1-2”) ribbon; intermediate (some) grittiness.

SILTY CLAY LOAM: Will form a moderate ribbon (1-2”); very smooth (little grit).

CLAY: Will form a strong ribbon (>2”); very plastic; can make little animals out of it, etc.
*Technically SANDY CLAY and SILTY CLAY also exist but we will not cover them in this class.

VERY GRITTY
INTERMEDIATE
VERY SMOOTH
NO RIBBON
sand / loamy sand
X
X
<1” RIBBON
sandy loam
loam
silt loam
1-2” RIBBON
sandy clay loam
clay loam
silty clay loam
>2” RIBBON
[sandy] clay
clay
[silty] clay