starting to process samples

Well,I am starting to get through soil sample processing which has been a good learning experience.  I have finished recording data for my bulk density tests for the two different areas: a heavily ‘compacted’, high traffic grass area, and an area covered in blackberries.  The blackberry soil was beautiful, very loose, and crumbly.  The other area was stone-filled, and difficult to sample.  SO I had expected a big difference in bulk density.  However, the blackberries came in at .86 g/cm^3 and the other area at .87g/cm^3.  Hardly results to write home about; or to write a blog about.

One of the differences in the two areas that I will follow up on is the amount of particles greater than 2mm.  The blackberries had an average of about 20% >2mm and the other area 23%.  This could influence bulk density results.  Also, the soil at UBC farm is a Bose soil, characterized by sand-dominated particles and presence of stones.  Sand does not compact as readily as a clay soil, so perhaps bulk density will not be such an important test in contrasting no-till soils with conventional till soils at UBC Farm.  What may be a better indicator is aggregate stability, which is virtually non-existent at the moment.

I ran a first batch of pH tests for the blackberries and got values around 5.3-5.8.  So will have to do some work to bring that up.  I am wondering how quickly I could bring it up to 6.0 without adding lime if at all.

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