Thursday, 24 September 2009

Soil Sample

Take a look at this.


A handful of soil.  But what exactly is soil?  Well, soil contains these things:

IMG_0612  water

IMG_0615   air

IMG_0616 organic matter

(that means things that were once living, like dead leaves)

IMG_0617 minerals

(minerals are things like stone or sand, that come from the ground)

But not all soil is the same; not all soil contains the same amount of water or air, or the same amount or kind of organic matter or minerals.

And some soil is better for growing things than other soil.

Which brings me to today’s ‘mission’.  We would work in a ‘team’ to see if we could find samples of at least 4 different types of soil in and around the garden.

  • We should be able to find sandy soil, that is a bit like the sand in our sandpit; dry and grainy and pale in colour.
  • We should be able to find dark sticky clay.
  • We should be able to find stony soil.
  • We should be able to find rich, dark, sweet-smelling, crumbly, ‘perfect-for-growing-plants’ soil.

With trowels…..


and containers at the ready, off we set.  Pretty soon we discovered dry, grainy, pale sandy soil under the trees…..


and stony soil nearby.


There was dark sticky clay…..


at the edges of the flowerbeds; and underneath the pretty flowers…..


and the juicy peppers…..


we found find rich, dark, sweet-smelling, crumbly, ‘perfect-for-growing-plants’ soil.

At least 4 different types of soil in all.


I wonder: Can you tell which is which?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

In the garden – in September

Toes sensibly buried in shiny boots…..


we clomped out into the Thursday afternoon sun, ready and willing to do our bit in the now well-established school garden.

September in the garden means a lot of tidying up.  It means pulling up the tangled plants that have died and harvesting the fruits of others.

in the garden in september9

It means collecting certain seeds for planting next year and saving others for the birds.

seattle misc

It means squatting down…..

in the garden in september1

and getting our hands mucky as we dig over the compacted soil to loosen it…..

in the garden in september2

and taking away the larger stones – by the heavy bucket-load.

in the garden in september4

It means raking the remaining soil to a fine, friable tilth in preparation for the next batch of seeds.

in the garden in september

It means taking the time to enjoy a bit of colour…..

in the garden in september3

as well as getting to know one or two…..

in the garden in september6

or three or four…..

in the garden in september7

of the more interesting residents!