Science is awesome, right? I’ve been learning about some great tools available on the internet, and want to share that information with you. First up…
Did you know that the USDA supports a website that enables you to produce a soil survey for just about anywhere in the U.S.? A soil survey is a great tool to use when planning your landscape. While the Web Soil Survey is not intended to replace an actual survey of the soil around your home or property, it is a great way to find out what you can expect in general. I now only use native plants around my home, but even native plants must be sited properly to do well, and the soil is a vital part of this decision.
All of this is great, but really…its just plain fun! I know, I’m a dork. But some of you are going to go straight to the website and print soil reports for the areas around your homes too. Here’s mine:
This tool also produces a really detailed report, has lots of customization options, and is very official-looking. Here’s a link to the PDF file that goes with this map:
A soil survey is just a tiny particle of the science of geology, but I believe it is a good start. Besides, we gardeners love to get our hands dirty!
If you would like to learn about the staggering volume of living organisms in our soils, I highly recommend the book, Life in the Soil, by James Nardi. I have an amazon link to this book in my sidebar. [Big sigh] Ahh, I remember the days when I had time to read a book!