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NC State Extension

Soil Observation

en Español

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Soil is so different everywhere you go. Dig in (really, dig a hole!) and find out what kind of soil you have around your home.

How do you start soil sleuthing?
Watch this quick slideshow to find out!

Supplies:

  • Shovel

  • 3-4 cups

  • Magnifying glass

  • Blank paper

  • Newspaper

Let’s Do it!

  1. Go outdoors and find three different spots to collect soil samples. Need some help getting started? Watch the videos first.

  2. At each stop, dig a hole and fill your cup with soil.

  3. Pour your samples onto pieces of newspaper for observation.

  4. Use a magnifying glass for a closer look and write down on a blank piece of paper what you see and make a drawing of each soil.

Talk it Over!

Ask yourself these questions while you are observing your soil:

  1. What does the soil feel like? What does the soil look like? Is it heavy? What color is it? Is there evidence of plant material or other living materials?

  2. Put down your ideas on this Jamboard on “Why soil is important!” 

  3. Soil Observation PDF Activity with additional questions